Organizing the System


Canada’s provinces and territories are responsible for health services. The Canada Health Act tells them what they must do to receive federal funding. It covers hospital, medical, and some surgical dentistry services, but it doesn’t cover home and community services. Provinces and territories may choose to insure these services, but they aren’t required to. When they do, they set their own terms and conditions. When health care is strained, home care and community services can be easy targets for cost cutting.

Each government puts its own stamp on health care. Provincial legislation passed in 2019 gave Ontario Health responsibility for funding. It gave Ontario Health Teams responsibility for planning and delivering services.

This isn’t the first restructuring, and it won’t be the last. We pay close attention to each one. We write papers, review legislation, comment on policies, and prepare submissions. We ask questions, sometimes hard ones. We promote the services that keep older Ontarians in their homes and communities within whatever structures Ontario adopts.


Briefing Note: Bill 175 – Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020

March 27, 2020

On February 25, 2020, Ontario’s Minister of Health tabled Bill 175 – Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020, which significantly changes home and community care. There has been little, if any, public consultation. This briefing summarizes our comments, concerns, and questions

Applying Canada Health Act Principles to Home and Community Support Services

March 2020

Care Watch has long supported the principles of the Canada Health Act. These same principles are fundamental to any system for in-home and community support services. Home and community services are essential components of our broader Medicare system.


Restructuring Health Services: It’s a Matter of Principle!

November-December 2019

We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. Ontario is overhauling health services – or, to be precise, the structures that deliver them. Within the Ontario Health Teams, home and community services need to be grounded in the principles of the Canada Health Act


Health System Restructuring and Primary Care

July 2016

Primary care includes basic health services. It is the first point of contact when people approach a health professional. We see primary care as based in communities rather than hospitals, so the community is where it belongs.


Examining Privatization in Health Care

July 2016

Even a public insurance system has room for private providers. What does privatization mean for health care in Canada? Who can benefit? Who can be harmed? What does it mean for home and community care?


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