Auditor general finds deficiencies in home care program

Nova Scotia's auditor general says the province has been far too slow in addressing problems in its home care program.

Nova Scotia's auditor general says the province has been far too slow in addressing problems in its home care program.

In his semi-annual report Jacques Lapointe says only 17 per cent of recommendations included in previous audits conducted in 1996 and 2002 have been "fully addressed" by the Health Department.

As a result, Lapointe wants the province to delay a plan to devolve responsibility for home care to district health authorities until action is taken to address the outstanding recommendations.

Lapointe's report says the Health Department has also failed to determine future demand for services and doesn't know whether there will be enough trained professionals to staff either the current program or a future expansion.

The report also found a lack of assessment of services to the point where auditors couldn't tell whether authorized services were provided.

As well, it found the department has no formal processes or policies in place to deal with patient complaints.