Primary Health Care
Primary health care (PHC) is the first point of contact that people have with the health care system. Dietitians play an important role in primary health care as valued members of the health care team. Dietitians provide leadership to support nutritional health through:
Primary health care dietitians work in:
- Public health centres
- Community health centres
- Doctor’s offices
- Wellness centres
- Other primary care settings
Dietitians of Canada supports access by all Canadians to the right services by the right professional, at the right time, to address their health needs. The DC platform on Primary Health Care is based on five key principles:
- Population health approach
- Interdisciplinary collaboration
- Access to a wide scope of primary health care services
- More opportunity for health promotion
In July 2009, Dietitians of Canada issued a position paper on the role of the dietitian in primary health care. The recommendations made to provincial and federal policy decision-makers include:
- Develop and apply appropriate population needs-based funding mechanisms to support PHC nutrition services within their areas
- Integrate nutrition services into all models of PHC
- Monitor and evaluate PHC nutrition services to ensure effectiveness
This position was released to the media. It was also shared with other health professionals and provincial government decision makers.
- Dietitians in Primary Care
(March 2017) – Provides an overview of what dietitians do and the difference they can make in primary health care environments. Bilingual handout.
- DC Recommendations for the 2016 Nova Scotia Action Plan for an Aging Population
(September 2016)Dietitians of Canada (Atlantic) was pleased to provide input to the consultation for the development of the 2016 Nova Scotia Action Plan For An Aging Population.
- DC Input to CFPC Best Advice Guide on Interprofessional Teams
(Augustt 2016) Family physicians are encouraged to develop systems to enable dietitians to work to their full scope of practice in interprofessional teams.
- Infographic: More than "just" nutrition advice
(2016) – An infographic to support the role and skills of dietitians in primary health care
- Infographic: Make a difference and save money doing it!
(2016) – An infographic to support the value of dietitians in primary health care
- Infographic: Correct wage disparity for dietitians in primary care
(2016) – An infographic to support the correction of wage to improve retention, services and access to primary care dietitians in Ontario
- Infographic: Primary Care Dietitians Make a Difference
(2016) – An infographic developed by the BC Primary Health Care action group to support the value of dietitians in primary health care in British Columbia
- Primary Health Care Workforce Survey Report 2015
(2015) – Ontario dietitians working in PHC settings including Family Health Teams, Community Health Centres, and Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics, were surveyed to track changes in the PHC dietitian workforce and roles, and job satisfaction. The 2015 survey measured changes in job satisfaction from 2012 results, and captured additional information on the leadership roles of dietitians in PHC.
- Moving Forward – Role of the Registered Dietitian in Primary Health Care
(2009) – Position paper of Dietitians of Canada
- Defining the Role of the Dietitian in Dysphagia Assessment and Management
(March 2015) – This role paper discusses dysphagia assessment and management based on the principles and ideals of evidence-informed, interprofessional client-centred care.
- Strengthening the Canadian Health System:A Call to Action from Dietitians
(November 2011) – The Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology was accepting submissions in preparation for the Health Accord 2014. Dietitians of Canada called for action in three areas: increased investment in health promotion and non-communicable disease prevention including access to healthy food, coordinated interprofessional health services, and sufficient labour supply and access to dietitians.
- Employee Health
Many Canadian workers have employee health insurance, but some plans do not cover the cost of dietitian services. There are steps employees and employers can take to make sure their employee health care plans include dietitian services.
Find a Dietitian
Hire a Dietitian
- Role of Dietitians in Collaborative Primary Health Care Mental Health Programs
A report by the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative (CCMHI) on a consultation process that examined greater integration of specialized services, such as nutrition and mental health expertise, into primary care settings
Dietitians of Canada Regional Executive Directors
Local Action Groups
Updated September 2, 2016