Ontario begins shifting home care responsibilities

Ontario begins dissolving its 14 community care access centres next week, but critics insist the move won’t cut red tape, free up money or improve home care for patients.

When Carter Keith was five and a half months old, a daycare worker shook him so violently that he had to be admitted to a hospital. In May of 2015, Carter, now eleven years old, had an eleven hour operation to repair his knees and hips and it’s only recently that a physical therapist and occupational therapist have been seeing him. After his operation, the family had a choice to take him to the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital or to go home to Welland, Ont. and receive PT and OT at home. They chose to go home based on the assurances given to them by the local CCAC worker. However they didn’t receive the promised care and Christine had to stay home to help take care of Carter, as well as having a nurse coming in daily. The two are photographed in their home on June 24 2015. Fred Lum, The Globe and Mail

By Kate Porter, CBC News Apr 25, 2017

Every year more than 700,000 people in Ontario count on the personal support workers, nurses and therapists who are funded by CCACs.

But the CCACs have been the subject of damning audits, and last December the government passed its Patients First Act, which handed the responsibility of home care to the local health integration networks in each region.

he Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care claims the merger will streamline administration of the health care system and lead to better home care.

‘No revolution in home care here’

But home care advocates aren’t convinced.

“The same struggles that have existed today will exist tomorrow,” said Heather Duff, who helps coordinate care for clients at the Champlain region’s CCAC and is chair of CUPE Ontario’s health care workers sector.

“There is no revolution in home care here,” agreed Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

Mehra doesn’t think the initial eight per cent savings target went far enough, and thinks the move to LHINs won’t even achieve that.

The Ministry says 59 upper management jobs will be eliminated across Ontario as a result of the switch, saving about $10.7 million a year, to be reinvested in patient care.

Mehra said the home care apparatus set up under former premier Mike Harris is simply being transferred “wholesale” to LHINs. She would have liked to see a truly public system, instead of continuing to contract private sector agencies to provide care.

“There are so many middlemen, so much profit-taking… and none of that is going to change,” said Mehra.

Done by June 21

In the Ottawa area, the Champlain LHIN and the Champlain CCAC both declined to comment on their upcoming merger, which takes place May 24.

The mergers will take place across the province starting May 3 and wrapping up June 21.
  • May 03 – North Simcoe Muskoka
  • May 10 – Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant
  • May 17 – Waterloo Wellington
  • May 17 – South East (Prince Edward County, Kingston, Bancroft, east to Prescott)
  • May 24 – South West
  • May 24 – Champlain (Ottawa, Deep River, east to Québec border)
  • May 31 – Mississauga Halton
  • May 31 – Central West (Brampton, Caledon, Orangeville)
  • May 31 – North East (Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins)
  • June 07 – Toronto Central
  • June 07 – Central (Newmarket, Markham, Vaughan, north to Lake Simcoe)
  • June 21 – Erie St. Clair
  • June 21 – North West
  • June 21 – Central East (Peterborough, Scarborough, Haliburton)

Source CBC News


Also see
No place like home? A look inside Ontario’s Byzantine home-care system The Globe and Mail
Complex rules stymie efforts to boost home-care workers’ wages in Ontario The Globe and Mail
Pilot project to give cash to Ontario patients for ‘self-directed’ home care The Globe and Mail
Report highlights disparity in Ontario’s home and community care sector The Globe and Mail
Slow care for elderly, disabled cited by Ontario auditor general CBC News
Ontario must shape up home care system, auditor general says CBC News

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