Sudbury

New changes to Ontario home care won't fix 'broken' system: Gelinas

France Gelinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and NDP health critic says that recent changes by the Liberal government to the delivery of home care will not likely change the way patients receive support.

Nickel Belt MPP Gelinas says changes focussed on agencies, ignores patients in need of home care

Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas says that recent elimination of CCACs won't save the taxpayers money in the long term. (Radio-Canada)
The province introduced a bill that will give the Local Health Integration Networks an expanded role by shutting down the Community Care Access Centres. We got some reaction to the announcement from the NDP health critic France Gelinas. 7:12
France Gelinas, MPP for Nickel Belt and NDP health critic says that recent changes by the Liberal government to the delivery of home care will not likely change the way patients receive support.

On Thursday, Minister of Health and Long-term care Eric Hoskins announced that Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) will be shut down in favour of having services provided through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs.)

Gelinas said that the Liberal bill promises "mega-change" but challenged to the front-line delivery of services will not be addressed.

"The changes are focused on agencies," Gelinas said, "Not for an elderly, frail patient who needs care getting fed, or transferred to a wheelchair."

Gelinas said the LHINs are also smaller agencies, sometimes only two dozen employees, who will now be faced with co-ordinating the hundred-plus roster of CCAC employees.

Although the change may save some money, the root problems of the "broken" home care system won't be fixed, she said.

Providers have been witholding knowledge 

"For people at home, you still deal with the case coordinator and hope that the PSW shows up," Gelinas said. "You still have recruitment and retention issue, because PSWs are not good jobs."

In short term, Gelinas said nothing will change until the knowledge gained by for-profit providers is shared with everyone.

"We are a whole lot better than used to be, but the providers keep this knowledge as a competitive advantage, rather than everyone doing better. Knowledge should not be a competitive advantage," she said.

by Casey Stranges

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