System change depends on investment, full participation of frontline community care
December 21, 2015 – TORONTO – On December 17, Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released “Patients First: Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario.” The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) attended the presentation, and welcomes this discussion regarding the transformation of Ontario’s health care system. We support the proposal’s vision for Ontario’s health system that closely links hospitals, primary care, home and community care, and public health. A better-connected system will allow more funds to be directed to care, leading to more positive experiences and better health outcomes for all Ontarians. However, to achieve this vision, the system must include a full range of care – including both medical and non-medical supports.
“I am pleased to be participating in this exciting and long-overdue discussion,” said Deborah Simon, OCSA CEO. “The goals of the proposal are only achievable with the full participation of home and community support providers, and we look forward to working with the government, the LHINs and all partners to deliver the best possible care for Ontarians.”
OCSA’s not-for-profit, community-based member agencies provide a wide variety of services which enable clients to remain independent and live in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. They serve a full range of clients, including children, adults with disabilities, and seniors. Services such as home supports, Meals on Wheels, adult day programs, transportation to medical appointments and respite for family caregivers are a vital and cost-effective component of Ontario’s health system that a growing number of Ontarians and their families depend upon.
Despite limited health care funding, home and community support providers across the province are finding innovative solutions to the challenges faced by their clients. As Ontario determines how it will transform home and community care, it is critical to leverage the knowledge, successes and capabilities that already exist in home and community agencies in every part of Ontario.
Non-profit home care and community support agencies provide the health care system with tremendous value for investment. With over 4 million hours donated by volunteers each year, OCSA members deliver care without making a profit, and re-invest any surplus funds back into the community for needed services. Ontario’s already strained health care system must make the most out of its resources by directing funding to the frontline. It is critical that any legislative changes that take place as part of this transformation affirm and protect the fundamental value of non-profit care.
OCSA will be consulting and collaborating with providers across the province to provide meaningful recommendations regarding the proposal, and continues to work towards a sustainable and equitable health system in Ontario.
Across the province each year, over one million people receive home care and community support services – and the need is growing. The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) champions a strong, sustainable home and community support sector for all Ontarians. Our not-for-profit, community-based member agencies provide a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical services which help seniors and people with disabilities remain independent and live in their own homes and communities. These compassionate and cost-effective services 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.
Deborah Simon, CEO of the Ontario Community Support Association is available to discuss the critical role of the home and community support sector in the province’s health system.
To arrange an interview or for more information please contact:
Communications and Research Coordinator
Ontario Community Support Association
416-256-3010 x- 242