OTTAWA, June 27, 2019 -- Calian’s Military Family Doctor Network (MFDN), created to facilitate Canadian military families’ access to provincial medical care, marked a significant milestone this month with more than 2,000 military family members who have been referred to a family doctor.
While the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) provides serving members with complete health care, their family members rely on the provincial health systems, presenting a unique challenge for military families who relocate frequently due to postings. MFDN helps connect military family members to participating physicians after the families relocate to communities around the country – which can happen as often as every two-to-three years.
Calian, in partnership with Military Family Services, a division of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, launched this innovative program in 2016. Since then Calian’s dedicated staff have successfully leveraged a national network of more than 150 health clinics managed by Primacy, a Calian-owned subsidiary, to help connect military family members with a family physician. The Primacy clinics are located in Loblaw stores across Canada (including Real Canadian Superstore®, Zehrs®, Loblaws® and No Frills®).
“With health care access through the MFDN I am proud to see that we are making a real difference in the lives of these military families. Removing this unnecessary stress for military families provides the serving member with the comfort of knowing their family has access to high-quality health care at home,” said Gordon McDonald, Vice-President, Calian Health. “As we continue to grow this social responsibility give-back program, I urge physicians across the country to join the network.”
“This program has been very well received by military families and has helped them mitigate the challenges of seeking a family physician. We are incredibly thankful for the support and interest demonstrated by the Calian leadership team,” said Sean N. Cantelon, CEO, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services. “Challenges still exist in a number of communities, but this is an excellent example of how our partners in corporate Canada can contribute their efforts in support our serving members and their families.”
The National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman has previously reported that military families are much more likely to struggle with finding a family physician compared to the average family, largely due to their frequent relocations. As a result, military families may rely on urgent care clinics or emergency rooms for non-emergencies. To help meet demand for physicians from military family members across the country, Calian has been making an effort to grow the network by finding participating physicians outside Primacy clinics.
MFDN is offered to military family members at no cost. A component of Calian’s social responsibility program, Calian earns no profit from MFDN; Calian supports the network by contributing employee support and resources.
“The MFDN is another demonstration of Calian’s passionate support for the military community. It is touching to know that we have now helped more than 2,000 military family members find physicians through this successful, innovative, and growing program,” stated Kevin Ford, President and CEO, Calian. “The military community can continue to count on Calian’s support as we work with our various partners to find ways to make a real difference in the lives of military members, Veterans and their families.”