Most CCACs in DEFICIT (& the money fight begins)

Nine of the province's 14 Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) are in deficit, the Chatham Daily News reports. 

The local Erie St. Clair CCAC has asked for $5.2 million to tide it over this year.  The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is only handing over $1.5 million for now and refused its request to let its deficit run over to next year.  

Gary Switzer, the LHIN CEO, said the CCAC may end up needing that money, "we just don't have enough data to determine what the real need is."

But Betty Kuchta, the CEO of the Erie St. Clair CCAC, replied that the CCAC may have to put hospital patients looking for home care on waiting lists.  Kuchta said waiting lists mean more frail, elderly people will stay in hospital when they could be cared for at home.  

The costs of the province's 'Home First' program, designed to get patients out of hospital, are driving up CCAC costs across the province, it seems.  

The 14 LHIN CEOs are meeting in January to discuss the cost pressures.

This is just the start of the post election squeeze.  Wait until next year's budget, when new funding gets a lot more scarce.  

The Erie St. Clair CCAC funding problems come as Windsor Regional Hospital is again reporting back-ups in their emergency room as hospital beds overflow with patients. 

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