Statement by the Minister of Health on the Auditor General's Report on Community Care Access Centres
Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, issued the following statement on receiving the Auditor General's Report on Community Care Access Centres (CCACs):
"I would like to thank the Auditor General of Ontario for her report and recommendations on CCACs. Our government accepts and endorses all of the recommendations. This insight and advice will help guide our ongoing efforts to reform home and community care.
Strengthening home and community care is a priority for our government. We know that people prefer to receive care at home and in their communities, where they can be closer to loved ones, living as independently as possible. In May, I released Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, which lays out 10 steps that our government is taking to bring change to the home and community care system.
First and foremost, we are focused on improving the experience of patients and their caregivers. That includes seeking regulatory changes to add 80,000 more nursing hours and implementing our first wave of bundled care projects so that patients can benefit from a team-based approach to care that is proven to reduce hospital re-admissions and emergency room visits.
There are four additional areas where change is already happening:
- Service delivery: Through a new working group, we are looking at provider contracts and fees to ensure consistency, access and quality across the province.
- Governance: On September 10, I sent a letter to the CCAC Board Chairs reinforcing my expectations on transparency, accountability and cooperation as we work to improve home and community care.
- Consistency: We are moving forward with a Levels of Care framework so that patients will know what to expect from their home and community care, wherever they are in the province.
- Investment: We are increasing our investment in home and community care by $750 million over three years.
I also want to take this opportunity to comment specifically on the Auditor's fifth recommendation, where she asks us to revisit our model of delivering home and community care. We endorse this recommendation and see it as a catalyst not only to continue but to deepen our reform process. We will continue to make changes that will truly improve both the system and the experience of the more than 600,000 patients who receive services from CCACs each year.
As we move forward with our reforms to the home and community care system, we will continue to rely on advice received from patients, caregivers, health care providers, health care experts, Dr. Gail Donner and her Expert Group on home and community care, and now the Auditor General of Ontario.
As Minister of Health and Long-term Care, I will ensure that at each step we continue to consult with patients, caregivers, providers and leaders in the home and community care sector to ensure that all voices are heard."