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Health Minister Dustin Duncan said he will look into the case of a homecare client with breathing problems who lost supports for cleaning. (CBC)

A homecare client who suffers from a breathing ailment was told to look after his own household chores, the NDP opposition says.

According to health critic John Nilson, the Regina senior had been getting assistance with cleaning and laundry but was abruptly cut off and told to consult the Yellow Pages for help.

 

'If the cleaning isn't done properly, he ends up going directly to the hospital.'—NDP MLA John Nilson

Homecare allows patients with chronic health problems to stay in their homes while still getting care. Professional staff visit the patient to provide a variety of supports.

Nilson said without some assistance for housework, the man would end up right back into hospital as his breathing condition is affected by dust.

"If the cleaning isn't done properly, he ends up going directly to the hospital," Nilson said. "We know that ... clogs up the hospital system and that is part of our waiting list problem."

Health region needs to be compassionate, minister says 

Dustin Duncan, the health minister, defended regional health officials, saying the homecare workers have been been told to focus on health rather than cleaning.

"I understand why they're moving this way but certainly they're not moving entirely out of laundry and cleaning," Duncan said. "So I don't understand why in this case he was one of the individuals that would have been removed from this."

Duncan added he will ask the region to communicate with patients in a compassionate way.

With files from CBC's Stefani Langenegger