New Ontario plan gives patients bigger say in their health care

Massage Therapy Canada staff
May 14, 2015
By Massage Therapy Canada staff
Ontario has launched a plan that will give patients and their caregivers greater flexibility in choosing a provider, and how and when that provider delivers services.
This new provision is part of the provincial government’s program Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care. This initiative aims to improve and expand home and community care for Ontarians over the next three years.

“Our new plan puts patients and their caregivers first by improving access and expanding services,” said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins.

“We know that people who receive care in their homes – where they want to be – tend to heal faster because they are happier and more comfortable in a familiar setting. Our new plan outlines the path we will follow together with patients, caregivers and providers to improve the care people receive no matter where they live across the province.”

Ontario's new plan for home and community care also includes an increase to home care nursing service hours to meet the needs of patients with complex care needs.

Funding for an additional 80,000 hours of nursing care is part of the 2015 Budget commitment to increase investment in home and community care by more than $750 million over the next three years. These extra hours of care will make it possible for individuals with complex conditions to receive care where they want to be – in their home and community, instead of in a hospital or in long-term care.

The new plan outlines how the government will transform delivery of care at home and in the community. Key initiatives will include:

•    Expanding supports for family caregivers
•    Giving clients and caregivers greater say in choosing a provider, and how and when that provider delivers services
•    Clear and consistent levels of home and community care services no matter where in the province a patient lives
•    Enhancing support for personal support workers
•    Providing greater choice for palliative and end-of-life care

Helping more people access better health care faster and closer to home is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that's sustainable for generations to come, according to the health ministry.

Home care is provided to more than 600,000 people per year – 60 per cent of whom are seniors.

“As Ontario’s population ages, the need for senior-focused health-care services grows ever more important. Our government’s commitment is to help seniors age with dignity and to achieve this we are continuing to invest in services that will help more seniors get the right care so they can age in the place they most want to be, in their homes,” said Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs.

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