Toronto

Ontario Liberals promise doctor house calls

Ontario's Liberals are promising to bring back medical house calls if re-elected, in a bid to entice seniors to vote for them in the fall election.

Ontario's Liberals are promising to bring back medical house calls if re-elected, in a bid to court voters prior to the Oct. 6 election.

Ontario's Liberals are promising to bring back medical house calls for some Ontario residents if re-elected. ((The Canadian Press))

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews said Sunday the program, for those with mobility issues or severe illnesses, would cost the province about $60 million a year.

"House calls are coming back to Ontario, so anyone who has difficulty getting to appointments will be cared for right in their homes," Matthews said at the home of an 83-year-old Toronto woman.

"It makes it easier for them to stay comfortably where they want to be."

The party said the program would offer a range of services including visits by a doctor, nurse or occupational therapist, as well as phone and online consultations.

The Liberals said the program would cut costs for long-term care, which costs about $150 per day a patient but can grow to $1,000 a day in a hospital.

Matthews says the province will have to work with health providers to develop the program, and is uncertain how many new nurses or social workers would be required.

With files from The Canadian Press