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The foundation of Ontario’s health care system is at serious risk from under funding care in the community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 The foundation of Ontario’s health care system is at serious risk from under funding care in the community

EASTERN ONTARIO, February 13, 2024 – Due to continued underfunding by the Provincial Government, the home and community health care sector continues to stand on the brink of collapse putting the healthcare of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities across the province in jeopardy and putting even more pressure on institutional care settings like hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Carefor Health & Community Services, along with over 230 provincial home and community care agencies, calls on the Provincial Government to take immediate action to increase funding to home and community healthcare agencies to allow them to compete for staff, enabling them to offer in home care to thousands of people in need in Ontario.

Homecare agencies, like Carefor, are underfunded compared with institutional care settings such as hospitals and long-term care homes and as a result are unable to pay staff a comparable salary. Because of this we have experienced a significant shortage in staffing, resulting in a serious reduction in our capacity to deliver much needed care and services. The result is fewer people receiving care at home which creates massive pressures on hospitals and long-term care homes, ultimately resulting in overcapacity and years-long waitlists. To address this, Carefor is seeking:

10% increase in contract rates. In keeping with our recommendation in 2023, we are advocating for a 10% increase to homecare contract rates and base funding for community support services for each of the next three years to stabilize the homecare and community services sectors.

Reduce disparity. Build the workforce. Targeted and strategic funding specifically intended to reduce wage disparity between home and community care and other sectors within the healthcare system to improve, rebuild and retain the homecare workforce.

Invest in digital modernization. Modest investments must be made available to homecare and community support services agencies to modernize digital health systems allowing the sector to connect seamlessly, effectively and securely with primary care and acute care partners in the evolving health care system.

“Through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, home and community care has shown itself to be an essential component of our healthcare system and a more affordable one with costs being significantly lower than that of hospital and long-term care,” says Carefor President and CEO Steve Perry. “Without immediate and substantial investment in home care, the base of our healthcare system will continue to erode leaving more people without care and more pressure on the rest of the healthcare system. We must act now.”

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About Carefor

Carefor has been providing care to the people of Eastern Ontario since 1897. Today, Carefor offers over 35 different services to seniors and people living with disabilities in Ottawa, Pembroke-Renfrew County and the Eastern Counties including in-home nursing and personal support services as well as community support services, a hospice in Cornwall and three retirement homes.

Carefor’s focus is to offer care, compassion and community to local, vulnerable seniors. Our services offer seniors choice through a holistic basket of services that helps them continue to live at home as long as possible. Learn more at carefor.ca.

For more information, contact:

Trevor Eggleton

Director, Communications, Marketing & Fundraising

Carefor Health & Community Services

teggleton@carefor.ca

613-749-7557 x 2021