Primary Care Interventions in Poverty

Hot off the Press!

Poverty - A Clinical Tool for Primary Care Providers

Click on the image for a video introduction from Dr. Gary Bloch, Chair of the OCFP Poverty and Health Committee, and then download the new tool from the Centre for Effective Practice.

Join the OCFP Poverty and Health Community of Practice

The OCFP Poverty and Health Community of Practice (CoP) is a network of family physicians in Ontario committed to addressing poverty, an important social determinant of health, in clinical practice. The primary objective of the CoP is to facilitate the exchange of poverty and health resources and best practices. The CoP will also serve as a platform for disseminating information on poverty and health research and educational initiatives, as well as opportunities to organize around anti-poverty advocacy projects. 

The CoP will communicate through an e-mail list-serve. To facilitate relationships between members, we will also meet in-person annually at the Family Medicine Forum (when hosted in Ontario) or the OCFP’s Annual Scientific Assembly. 

See Our Calendar ​for Upcoming Sessions 

Join Now! 

News Flas​h: Treating Poverty Workshop Wins Award for CPD

The popular Treating Poverty workshop won the 2015 College of Family Physicians of Canada Continuing Professional Development Program Award. The annual award recognizes innovation in CPD programming and is given to three accredited programs that provide exceptional learning experiences. It was presented to the Treating Poverty faculty at the 7th National Accreditation Conference in September.

Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Gary Bloch, Dr. Katie Dorman, Dr. Larisa Eibisch, Dr. Esther Ernst, Dr. Ritika Goel, Dr. Samantha Green, Dr. Amanda Hey, Dr. Eva Purkey and Dr. Dan Raza for their on-going commitment to educational programs that support the delivery of high-quality patient care.

This half-day, 3.5 Mainpro-C accredited workshop is offered by the OCFP in collaboration with the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Inner City Health Associates and Health Providers Against Poverty. It presents a simple three-step approach to intervening in patients’ poverty through the development of relevant clinical skills, and a deeper understanding of the federal and provincial income security systems and related resources.

See Our Calendar ​for Upcoming Sessions 

To request a workshop or find out more about already scheduled programs, please contact the OCFP's CME department by email at

Tools and Resources Developed by the OCFP and Partners

CFPC Best Advice Guide on Social Determinants of Health

Best Advice Guide on Social Determinants of Health

The College of Family Physicians of Canada has published a guide about the role family doctors can play in improving patients’ social determinants of health, which are the social and economic conditions into which a person is born, lives or works that can influence their overall health.

The Best Advice Guide: Social Determinants of Health provides practical advice about how doctors can treat patients’ immediate needs, while also addressing the underlying social conditions that lead to poor health.

New Poverty Tool Now Available!

Download Poverty: A Clinical Tool for Primary Care Providers. New in November 2015.

Quick tip: Screen everyone

"Do you ever have trouble making ends meet at the end of the month?"

Poverty is not always apparent...we can’t make assumptions.

Have you heard about 211?

This service helps seniors, low income families, newcomers and all Ontarians with questions about health, resources income support and more. Can you help your patients put it to work for them? Find out more.

Ontario 211

If You Want to Help Me, Prescribe Me Money

In this TEDx talk, Toronto family physician Dr. Gary Bloch, draws on his practice experience to suggest how family doctors can "prescribe income" and other ideas to help make poverty treatable. 
Note: This talk was organized by TEDxStouffville.

Ontario Tax Credit Resources

Poster for Ontario tax credits and benefits for people with low incomeOntario Tax Credits and Benefits for Patients with Low Income

The Government of Ontario has a number of tax credits and benefits that patients with low income may be eligible to receive. Downloadable patient information has been made available below. 

Download the brochure in English or French
Download the poster in English or French

For more information​ on these and other tax credits, visit the Ministry of Finance website.

Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

Did you know that the non-refundable Disability Tax Credit (DTC) can help people with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay? Unused amounts may be transferred to a spouse or a supporting person.

Use Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate to apply. Part B must be completed by a medical practitioner and returned to the Canada Revenue Agency.

For further information about the DTC, go to or call 1-800-959-8281. For information in French, go to or call 1-800-959-7383.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP)

Understanding your rights and obligations and the benefits of filing an income tax and benefit return is an important aspect of financial literacy. Did you know there could be people in your community who are missing out on important tax credits and benefits that they may be entitled to because they are not filing an income tax and benefit return?

This free program helps many individuals such as social assistance recipients, seniors, students, newcomers to Canada, and persons with a disability. It also helps to maintain uninterrupted access to government benefits and entitlements. Last year, over 2,000 organizations and over 17,000 of their volunteers supported the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). Together, they filed over 600,000 tax returns for people in their community. 

Download information about the CVITP, to find out how to become a volunteer and participating organizations in your area in English or French.

Poverty Intervention Resources

 OCFP Poverty Committee  
Click the pic!

OCFP logo

About the OCFP's Poverty and Health Committee
Find out about the work of this OCFP committee here.