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Ontario invests $11M to expand home and community care services

Money will 'help put a stop to hallway medicine,' province says
Paramed home health care

Ontario's health minister announced Wednesday the province is investing an additional $11 million to help put a stop to hallway medicine and build more capacity in communities across the province.

Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health, was at Hillcrest Reactivation Centre Wednesday to announce the government is investing $155 million to expand home and community care services.  

"Home and community care play a critical role in ending hallway health care," said Elliott, in a press release.

"By making these significant investments and supporting partnerships between home and community care providers and busy hospitals, patients will experience quicker transitions between receiving hospital care and returning home with the appropriate support they need to properly recover, while also making sure hospital beds are available for those who need them."

The 2019 budget committed $124 million in home care and $20 million in community care. The government is providing an additional $11 million for home and community care, bringing the total new investment to $155 million.

As a part of this investment, the government is providing $45 million for targeted innovative integrated care models in high-need areas. In addition to the $45 million, the government is investing $63 million in existing integrated care models. 

"Certain areas in Ontario are experiencing higher-than-average rates of patients receiving care in unconventional spaces," said Elliott. 

"By investing in targeted partnerships between hospitals and home and community care providers in these regions, we can tackle the challenge of hallway health care head on to ensure patients are receiving the high-quality care they expect and deserve."

The province said in a press release by investing in more frontline patient care, Ontario can provide:

  • 1.8 million more hours of personal support services
  • 490,000 more nursing visits and 100,000 more therapy visits
  • Services in the community like homemaking, meals, transportation and caregiver supports
  • Additional direct community services for patients with acquired brain injury and people living in supportive housing

"Home Care Ontario applauds today's announcement of new funding for home and community care," said Sue VanderBent, CEO of Home Care Ontario, is quoted as saying in the press release.

"This new money will help deliver more care at home, which is the quickest and most cost-effective way to end hospital overcrowding. It will help people avoid hospital admissions altogether as well as help people get home from hospital even faster. We commend the government for continuing to make home care a key priority."

President and CEO of Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada Jo-Anne Poirier says that these are important investments for patients in home and community care.

"The government's approach of funding proven, innovative practices will accelerate the system's ability to provide patients the right services, at the right time and in the right place," said Poirier. 

"This critical focus will further support patients in receiving much-needed care with the added comfort and peace of mind of remaining in their own homes and communities."