Manitoba

Auditor report finds major issues with Manitoba's home care program

Winnipeggers are waiting an average of 37 days for home care – a service that’s meant to help people stay out of hospitals and personal care homes.

Province of Manitoba promises new ‘leadership team’ to tackle 28 recommendations in report

Winnipeggers are waiting an average of 37 days for home care – a service that’s meant to help people stay out of hospitals and personal care homes. (iStock)

Winnipeggers are waiting an average of 37 days for home care – a service that's meant to help people stay out of hospitals and personal care homes.

The news comes from an auditor general report that made 28 recommended changes to how the province is delivering home care and personal care in Manitoba.

Waits in the Southern Health region are a bit shorter at 31 days.

Personal care and home care are supposed to help people remain at home rather than staying in hospital or moving more quickly to personal care homes.

According to the report, Manitoba's health regions need to pay more attention to how quickly the care is offered and how reliable it is.

If the province doesn't do something to address the problem, it could jeopardize the well-being of Manitobans, the report indicated.

The audit also found some patient assessments were incomplete and about half of patients weren't reassessed within a year and half, even though that's supposed to happen every year.

The regions have also had issues with staffing.

The report estimated about $4 million was spent in two regions on wages for staff when they weren't actually seeing clients, and 16,000 client visits were cancelled because staff were unavailable when they were needed.

The report also said oversight from the province's health department was "very limited."

In response, the province announced on Wednesday it was forming a new "leadership team" to respond to concerns in the report.

Health Minister Sharon Blady said in a release that Manitobans' home care needs have change substantially in the last 40 years, but Manitoba has one of the best programs in North America.

The team is expected to complete its plan for home care in late 2016.

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