Toronto, Jan 25, 2019 – The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) is looking forward to working with the government in fulfilling their commitment to create a health care system that works for Ontarians. The home and community care sector has cost-effective solutions to work across the system to help address hallway medicine and restore the province’s finances; however the challenges facing the sector need to be addressed.
Our sector not only prevents unnecessary emergency department visits when used effectively, it also gives people the chance to live independently in their homes and communities. Unfortunately, frontline care workers are in short supply and the sector needs support to implement a sustainable plan so that Ontarians can age in place.
Caregivers are the unseen backbone of our health care system and their unpaid contributions help keep the system sustainable. However, they desperately need additional supports to continue to care for loved ones at home and not burn out. Ontario’s not-for-profit home and community care sector provides that crucial support through programs and services that offer relief. Home and community care providers also manage the contributions of 3.1 million volunteer hours, help that is estimated at a value of $78 million.
As stated in our Pre-Budget Submission released today, OCSA believes the government should:
- Discharge people out of hospital faster and deliver more client care by increasing home and community care frontline funding by 5% annually, for the next 8 years.
- Implement a health human resource strategy to attract and retain PSWs, nurses and other care providers to the home and community care sector; so that there are enough frontline staff to help people receive it in a more cost-effective manner at home.
- Reduce red tape by overhauling funding agreements for home and community care to enable improvements to quality of care.
- Invest in digital health technology for the home and community sector to enhance connectivity, drive efficiencies in reporting, reduce duplication of assessments and improve client care.
"Increased supports for clients receiving home and community care is paramount at this time,” says Deborah Simon, CEO of OCSA. “While the province looks to build more long-term care beds and facilities, the system is in need of enhanced home care resources to immediately relieve hospital system pressure. This support means investments to shore up frontline workers such as PSWs and nurses. The government has already made some important first steps through consultations held with the Premier’s Council on Ending Hallway Medicine. We look forward to working with government to provide a more seamless health care experience for Ontarians.”
For more information, please see our pre-budget submission here.
The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) represents nearly 240 not-for-profit organizations that provide home care and community support services to over one million Ontarians. Our members help seniors and people with disabilities live independently in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. These proactive and cost-effective services improve quality of life and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency room visits and premature institutionalization. They are the key to a sustainable health care system for Ontario. For more information, visit www.ocsa.on.ca.
Interviews are available with OCSA CEO Deborah Simon. For more information please contact:
Ontario Community Support Association
416-256-3010 x 242