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Home Care Ontario CEO Says PSWs Leaving Due To Lack Of Funding

The C-E-O of Home Care Ontario says the lack of adequate home care is creating serious problems in Ontario hospitals and the most obvious reason for that is the lack of funding.

Sue Vanderbent says the strategy to treat more people at home rather than in the hospital can only work if the funding moves from the hospital to home care as well. She points out the budget for health care in the province is about 53.8 billion dollars a year. Home Care gets five per cent of that, or 2.5 billion, but Vanderbent says that five per cent figure hasn’t changed in 20 years. She says it’s critical for people to understand the relationship between home care and acute care. If a patients needs to go to E-R and eventually needs a bed, they should be able to do that quickly. But if there are no beds because the people in them can’t be moved to home care because there’s no one to care for them that creates a problem.

Vanderbent also explains we now have more older people with more complicated issues but that demand is met with the same number of people and the only way to do that is to give shorter and shorter visits. She says that leaves patients frustrated with the care they’re receiving but it also leaves personal support works frustrated because they can’t deliver the service they’d like to. Vanderbent says some PSWs are starting to get out of home care because of that frustration.

“So we’ve been in the Province, about 53.8 billion dollars for health care systems and home care receives about 2.5 billion and that number, that five per cent, has not changed for twenty years.”

“It’s so important that we understand the inter-dependency between home care and acute care. Somebody needs to go to the E-R, we need a fast trip through the E-R and if you need to go up to one of the beds you should be able to do that quickly.”

“We’ve been trying, in home care, to compensate for that. And one of the ways we’ve been trying to compensate is to give shorter and shorter visits. You see more people but you’re still using the same amount of money, so you have fifteen minute visits or a half hour visit.”