Home Care Ontario | Jan 19, 2018
Ontario’s Home Care System at a Tipping Point, More Investment Needed: Home Care Ontario
January 19, 2018 - 2018 Pre-Budget submission calls for $600 million annual investment to deliver more frontline home care, help ease hospital overcrowding, and meet increased demand for professional home caregivers.
Home Care Ontario, the voice of home care in OntarioTM, is calling for more investment, more caregivers and building a system that empowers patients, families and professional caregivers in its 2018 Ontario Pre-Budget submission “Providing More Care for Me and For You.”
“The home care system is at a tipping point,” said Sue VanderBent, CEO, Home Care Ontario. "People want and need more home care, but patient complexity, an aging population, and government underfunding over the past decade has meant they are actually getting less, and professional home caregivers are being asked to do more with fewer resources. Simply put, we need a new approach that puts home care at the centre of a long-term solution to ensure our loved ones get the quality care they deserve.”
The member-based organization notes that Ontario’s home care system is stretched too thin after a decade of stagnant funding while demand for home care services have increased at a much faster rate. The result is unprecedented levels of rationing of care, growing wait lists, and caregiver burnout. Home Care Ontario is calling on the government to invest an additional $600 million annually in Ontario’s home care system to deliver more frontline patient care. This funding would mean 9 million more personal support worker visits, 5.1 million more nursing visits, and funding to begin to meet the increased demand for therapy and other home care services.
Additional recommendations to strengthen home care and the entire health care system include:
- Eliminate the SDCO (Self Directed Care Organization) Agency and work with existing and pre-qualified providers to implement a truly quality-based self-directed care model that achieves its laudable goals;
- Work with health system leaders to implement a comprehensive strategy to recruit, retain, and value more professional and skilled home caregivers, and unlock latent service capacity to better utilize existing professional caregivers;
- Launch a public awareness campaign through social and online media about the value of hiring trained and qualified caregivers from reputable providers to deliver quality care to patients and help impede the underground economy in home care;
- Implement a tax credit or caregiver allowance for those Ontarians who can and do wish to purchase care from reputable, legitimate Ontario home care providers that adhere to safe, and responsible health human resource, occupational safety and accreditation standards; and,
- Strengthen the information exchange between all Health Service Providers, including frontline professional caregivers, and acknowledge their HIC status to achieve continuity in approach and seamless, safe care for patients and families.
“Now is the time to act, now is the time for more home care,” concluded VanderBent. "It is essential that Ontario invests in more home care to reduce hospital overcrowding, keep seniors in their homes and communities longer, and deliver care more efficiently to free up resources for hospitals and long-term care homes – putting patients first and making the entire health care system stronger.”
The full submission can be viewed HERE.
About Home Care Ontario
Home Care Ontario, the voice of home care in OntarioTM, is a member‐based organization with a mandate to promote growth and development of the home care sector through advocacy, knowledge transfer, and member service. Home Care Ontario members include those engaged in and/or supportive of home‐based health care. In Ontario, service provider organizations are responsible for providing nursing care, home support services, personal care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, dietetics, speech language therapy and medical equipment and supplies in the home to individuals of all ages. An estimated 58 million hours of publicly and privately purchased home care service is provided annually across the province.