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Ontario Health Action Plan does not add up

The Ontario government's Health Care Action Plan, announced yesterday, will mean less public health care.

As has been the constant refrain for decades, the official plan is to move patients from hospitals to home care. The idea is that hospitals are expensive and home care is cheap.

But the plan does not add up. The home care hours promised - 3 million -- mean spending about an extra $75 million, based on government figures.

That's a tiny drop in the bucket of the government's $47,139,590,260 ($47 billion) health care spend: less than 2 tenths of one percent. It may make up for population growth this year. It may even make up for the aging population (this year). But is it going to also reduce the 10,000 person home care wait list, divert people from ending up in long term care facilities, or offset hospital cuts? No way -- it's a pathetically small increase by any standard, never mind by what the government says it is doing.

As in the past (with the Mike Harris government), the plan appears to be to pretend to increase home care, to justify the cuts in other health care services.

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