System change and increased integration could build on progress delivering care to Ontarians
November 5, 2015 – TORONTO – Yesterday, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins signaled his intention to engage in bold, transformational system change in order to achieve health equity in Ontario. In a speech closing the Ontario Hospital Association’s HealthAchieve conference, he stressed the importance of strong local governance and integration, and called for an increased role for Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) in both primary and home and community care. In particular, he suggested that it may be time to reconsider the relationship between LHINs and Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), and that deeper integration between the two may be the best way to provide consistent and targeted care that addresses the needs of the local population.
The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA), representing Ontario’s not-for-profit home care and community support providers, recognizes this as an opportunity to improve care to clients and move the home and community sector forward. We are encouraged by Minister Hoskins’ invitation for health care providers and other stakeholders to contribute their experiences and expertise as this plan develops. Our Members – organizations of all sizes, providing a diversity of services across the province – look forward to participating in this transformation.
“Minister Hoskins spoke about the importance of health equity and the social determinants of health to the future of Ontario health care,” says Deborah Simon, CEO. “These questions are also of deep concern to our Members, who are already doing impressive work in these areas. We’re excited by the opportunity to draw attention to and build on those accomplishments.”
With any change comes the potential for destabilization, so we will continue to work with our members and collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, CCACs, LHINs, and our health system partners to maintain consistent care for clients, and build on the substantial growth and progress made within the sector in recent months and years. We hope the transition will fortify our existing work. OCSA and our Members look forward to providing input and leadership in this regard.
As Ontario’s population ages and grows, change is necessary to ensure quality care is provided to seniors and people with disabilities when they need it, and where they want it most – in their own homes and communities. Investment in the home and community support sector is a compassionate and cost-effective way to create a strong, sustainable health system in Ontario.
The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) is the voice of the home and community support sector. Across the province each year, more than a million people receive home care and community support services such as in-home nursing, therapy and personal support, Meals on Wheels®, adult/Alzheimer day programs, transportation to medical appointments, respite for family caregivers, supportive housing and attendant services for persons with disabilities. These services are important, cost-effective measures that prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency room visits and premature institutionalization. More information can be found at www.ocsa.on.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Communications and Research Coordinator
Ontario Community Support Association
416-256-3010 x- 242