Hamilton-based home care advocates call on Ford government to release funds

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Published November 23, 2022 at 1:48 pm

Hamilton-based home care advocates call on Ford government to release funds
An advocacy group for provincial home care workers is calling on the Ford government to fast-track the release of the funding that was announced in June. 

A Hamilton-based advocacy group for provincial home care workers is calling on the Ford government to fast-track the release of the funding that was announced in June.

The Home Care Ontario campaign comes as health care throughout the province faces significant challenges due to the pandemic and staffing shortages.

“Behind the headlines about hospital beds being full is the cold reality that our whole health care system is under strain,” says Sue VanderBent, Home Care Ontario CEO. “That means our seniors, families, and most vulnerable citizens are waiting longer for care.”

“We need to act now.”

“With the right supports, home care is the quickest, most effective way we can give our loved ones the care they need and deserve,” she adds.

In the summer budget, the province announced a monumental $1 billion investment in home care. To date, only $120 million of that funding has been allocated.

Hamilton-based home care advocates call on Ford government to release funds

Home Care Ontario is urging the government to accelerate the spending of the remaining $880 million.

“Unlike hospitals and other institutions, home care requires virtually no physical infrastructure. It can scale faster than any other part of the health care system,” issued Home Care Ontario in an official statement.

The organization says the additional funding is critical to stabilizing the home care workforce and taking pressure off of hospitals — improving care for seniors and patients across Ontario.

Specifically, the Bring Care Home campaign by Home Care Ontario is designed to draw attention to staffing losses in the sector, which the organization says, “number in the thousands.”

 

Among the actions being called for by the advocacy group, Home Care Ontario says the province should “immediately” provide funding to raise wages, innovate funding models to help more patients get out of hospitals and back home, develop a system-wide Health Human Resources strategy that prioritizes home care first, and expand the newly created Seniors Home Care Tax credit to better support older Ontarians wishing to continue living at home.

“We need to act fast to help our health care system and our patients – and nothing is faster than home care,” said VanderBent. “A well-functioning home care system will alleviate pressure from hospitals. It helps reduce hospital admissions by preventing unnecessary trips to the emergency room and speeds up discharges for post-operative patients ready to recover at home.”

“We know this is what patients want and what our new campaign is all about.”

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