McGuinty government makes a record investment in home care services

Archived Release

McGuinty government makes a record investment in home care services

Ministry of Health

Funding for home care grows to $1.3 billion this year TORONTO, July 5 - Thousands more Ontarians will receive health care services at home as the McGuinty government invests a record $1.3 billion for home care this year, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today. "We agree with Roy Romanow that home care is the 'next essential service'," Smitherman said. "Now, people who are able to receive the care they need at home can stay out of hospitals, reducing the stress on these institutions. This will allow hospitals to better provide the acute care services they are so good at providing." This investment in Ontario's Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) includes new funding of $73.2 million targeted towards acute home care, end-of-life care, and chronic home care and represents the first phase of our plan. Today's announcement will have a significant impact on thousands of Ontarians who need and want home care services as 21,000 additional people will benefit from home care and end-of-life services this year. "The government is making sure that health care in Ontario is more effective and sustainable by increasing its investment in home care," said Howard Phee, Board Chair for the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres. During the McGuinty government's four-year commitment to improving these services, 95,700 more Ontarians will receive home care, and 6,000 more Ontarians will receive compassionate, end-of-life care in their homes, by 2007/08. As announced in the Plan for Change Budget in May, the government remains committed to investing $10 million through a not-for-profit agency to help patients and their families acquire medical equipment for home use. "Home care offers greater dignity and quality of life for people of all ages including seniors and vulnerable people," Smitherman said. "But too often this is not an option. We're strengthening these services so that people will receive the dedicated, compassionate care they deserve, in the familiarity of their own homes." ------------------------------------------------------------------------- BACKGROUNDER ------------------------------------------------------------------------- STRENGTHENING HOME CARE SERVICES The McGuinty government's investment of a record $1.3 billion for Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) is part of its broader plan to strengthen home care services and transform health care in Ontario. Currently, home care services and others, such as community support services and primary care, are underdeveloped. Ontarians often end up in emergency rooms and hospitals because of a lack of services in the community, placing more financial pressure on hospitals. Transforming Home Care Driving care to the community level is a priority in the McGuinty government's plan to reform health care in Ontario. The McGuinty government wants to build up Ontario's capacity to care for people in their homes, so that people can receive the most appropriate care while reducing stresses on hospitals. People should not have to stay in hospitals if they do not need to be there. Hospitals should be allowed to focus on what they do best - providing acute care services. Home care services provide the needed follow-up care and support after people leave the hospital, so that they are not re-admitted to hospital with the same health problems. Home care services also offer services that promote healthy living, and reduce people's need to go to hospitals in the first place. Today's investment in Ontario's CCACs includes new funding of $73.2 million targeted towards acute home care, end-of-life care, and chronic home care and represents the first phase of our plan. This investment will benefit 21,000 more Ontarians who need this care this year. As announced in the Plan for Change Budget in May, the McGuinty government's four year commitment to strengthening home care services will mean that by 2007/08: - 95,700 more Ontarians will receive home care. - 6,000 more Ontarians will receive end-of-life care in their own homes. The McGuinty government also remains committed to investing $10 million through a not-for-profit agency to help patients and their families acquire medical equipment for home use. There are 42 CCACs across the province that coordinate the delivery of home care services for Ontarians of all ages. Acute and Chronic Home Care Services Acute home care services are provided on a short-term basis to help prevent hospital admission, to assist those returning home from hospital, and to support people through their recovery from an illness or accident. Chronic home care services are provided on a longer-term to assist people with disabilities or chronic health problems. Acute and chronic home care clients can receive personal support- homemaking, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language therapy, social work, dialysis, chemotherapy, wound management and post- surgical care and dietetic services. End-of-Life Home Care Services End-of-life care involves services for people who are terminally ill. This care links informal, supportive caregivers with the terminally ill. End-of-life home care includes a range of services including nursing, personal support, and respite. This news release is available on our website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca Version fran├žaise disponibleFor further information: Members of the media: Eva Lannon, Minister's Office, (416) 327-4320; Dan Strasbourg, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or (800) 268-1154