Yesterday, I noted that the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres have now (very mildly) weighed in and noted that some of the alternative level of care (ALC) patients are, in fact, waiting for "institutional" (i.e. hospital) services, particularly in the area of rehabilitation and complex continuing care.
This, of course, is quite true -- more ALC patients are waiting for rehabilitation and complex continuing care than other sorts of care (except, of course, for long term care, which has masses of patients waiting for a bed).
In fact the backlogs in these two areas represent a fairly high portion of total existing capacity. About 327 ALC patients are waiting for rehabilitation -- that's equivalent to 14.1% of the total number of rehabilitation beds in the province (2,322). Another 266 patients are awaiting complex continuing care, equivalent to 4.6% of the total number of complex continuing care beds (5,798).
The 196 ALC patients awaiting home care services are a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the number of clients who receive home care services in the province (586,000 according to the Auditor General in 2010).
It is even a tiny number compared to the number of people sitting at home and waiting for home care: the Auditor General found 10,000 on home care wait lists in 2010.
The system seems to do a better job moving people out of hospitals and into home care than it does in supplying enough home care to people in the community to keep them out of hospitals.