In 2019, Ontario’s government announced that Ontario Health Teams across the province will plan and offer services for people living within their defined areas. Each team will manage its own centralized funding. We need to know, and you need to know, that home and community care will be protected. We have been asking politicians and decision makers:
- Will all Ontario’s older Ontarians receive consistent services no matter where they live or how much money they have?
- Will clients coming from the community have the same priority as those coming from hospitals?
- Who will coordinate services so that clients have what they need when they need it?
- Will home and community services have enough funding to serve everyone who needs them?
At one time, charities and non-profit community organizations provided most home and community services, with only modest costs to clients. Now, for-profit agencies are taking a much larger role. Care Watch is particularly concerned about these for-profit providers and about privatization. The way we fund home and community care services must reflect both our needs and our values. We advocate for a home and community care system that has stable funding supported by general tax revenues, principles in line with the Canada Health Act, and services delivered by non-profit providers.
Government says it celebrates older adults, but does it listen to them? Listening means funding home and community services, acting on the COVID-19 Long-Term Care Commission’s recommendations, recruiting and keeping personal support workers, and supporting unpaid caregivers.
Technology can help with daily tasks, promote safety, and ward off isolation. It works, though, only when it is affordable, supported, and straightforward to use. Service needs to be consistent, and privacy needs to be protected.
Care Watch supports the COVID-19 Long-Term Care Commission’s interim recommendations. We also recommend nursing home inspections, development of a workforce strategy, less privatization, and attention to models that promote home and community care.
When COVID-19 struck, hospitals and long-term care were the immediate priorities. Home care was neglected. We need to apply what we learn about long-term care to home care clients, their families, and the workers who care for them.
During Pride Month, we recognize the vastness, diversity, and resilience of the LGBTQ2S+ community. But high-quality home and community care is often not the reality for members of this community.
When we talk about our health care system, discussion turns to the balance between public and private services. It’s a dynamic balance, which shifts constantly and depends on each government’s policies and programmes.
We haven’t been talking enough about where the money for home and community services will come from. We believe it should come from public insurance and that we need a policy that remains true to the principles of the Canada Health Act.
We need to talk about a funding policy for home and community care that parallels the Canada Health Act. Who will pay for the system, how will they pay, and where will the money come from.
Even a public insurance system has room for private providers, and there are many ways that privatization occurs. 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? Here are some of the facts.