Skip to main content

PSW Registry Announced

The Ontario government has announced that it is creating a 'registry' of personal support workers (PSWs).
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care says "PSWs will have the opportunity to sign up with the registry and provide key information such as: contact information, current employment, educational background and years of experience.  Employers and the public could use the registry to verify this important information, and employers would be better informed to meet patient needs." 
The registry, they claim, will be up and running no later than the summer of 2012.  
The full role and governance of the registry remains unclear, however.  The Ministry promises that "consultations with PSWs, their representatives and other stakeholders will begin in the summer."

The government initially considered putting PSWs under the control of a regulatory college, but decided not to follow this path, at least as a first step.  The government's Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) had advised that the "occupation does not operate within its own clearly defined body of knowledge." HPRAC instead recommended "standardized education outcomes for all providers of PSW training programs."  

The Ontario PSW Association president supports the registry in the hope that it will "create much-needed standardization of training, as well as establishing accountability for both PSWs and employers."  Another employer association has cited the role of a registry in the safety of home care patients and PSWs.   How the registry will establish accountability for employers, or improve safety for PSWs remains unclear.  

It is also unclear if this is a first, small step towards college regulation of PSWs.  While there are pros and cons to college regulation, one ongoing problem is that colleges discipline employees outside of the protection of their collective agreements.   After putting off the idea of college regulation, the government considered, for a time, the idea of creating a professional association with a 'strong public interest,' but it was never very clear what this might mean. 


The government estimates that there are 90,000 personal support workers in Ontario with about 57,000 providing care in long-term care homes, 26,000 in home care.  Surprisingly, they also estimate that there are now 7,000 PSWs in hospitals, quite a fair number.  

The British Columbia government created a registry for first care aides and community health workers in January 2010.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.


This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.



Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.







As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…