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Private homecare funding increases 1/3 faster than public funding in Ontario

Home care is not covered by the Canada Health Act and so there is no guarantee that medically necessary services be covered by public insurance.  This lack has long been one of the concerns raised by advocates of public health care, especially as home care plays a bigger role in health care. 

Conference Board of Canada figures (released with a study yesterday) heighten this concern, at least for Ontario, where the role of private payment is increasing. Conference Board estimates indicate that the increase in public funding for home care in Ontario (in nominal dollars) was between 62% and 65% over the 11 years from 1999 to 2010.  Over the same period, private payment for health care increased 88%.  That is over one-third faster.  

Canada-wide the story is a little different.  There, home care spending increased much more rapidly, both in the public and private spheres, with increases -- in both spheres -- in the 100% range.  

Ontario lost a lot of ground in publicly funded home health care during the last Progressive Conservative government.  While other provinces moved ahead during this period, Ontario actually decreased funding. In the publicly funded home support category, Ontario continued to increase funding during that period, but still fell well short of the Canada-wide increase.  

According to Conference Board figures, home care fell as a percentage of total health care spending, falling from 5.82% in Ontario in 1999 to 4.65% in 2010 (and from 4.72% to 4.54% Canada-wide).  Again, in Ontario all of the decrease was during the Progressive Conservative years; there has been a small rebound during the Liberal years (from 4.51% to 4.65%).  


In Ontario, home support service funding has increased more rapidly than for home care services.  Judging by the recent government announcement to modestly increase Personal Support hours (and its deathly silence on home health care services which have been squeezed hard in recent years) this trend continues.  


Ontario


Canada

Public Pay





Home Health






High Est.
Low Est.

High Est.
Low Est.
1999
1048972
670015

1933000
1234675
2010
1655130
981402

3963091
2349898
% increase
58%
46%

105%
90%






Home Support





1999
699339
699339

1578534
1578534
2010
1232670
1232670

3225621
3225621
% increase
76%
76%

104%
104%






Total Public





1999 Total
1748311
1369354

3511534
2813209
2010 Total
2887800
2214072

7188712
5575519
% increase
65%
62%

105%
98%






Private Pay





Home Health





1999
3358
3358

8000
8000
2010
9819
9819

25355
25355
% increase
192%
192%

217%
217%






Home Support





1999
307850
307850

733485
733485
2010
574935
574935

1484593
1484593
% increase
87%
87%

102%
102%






Total Private





Total 1999
311208
311208

741485
741485
Total 2010
584754
584754

1509948
1509948
% increase
88%
88%

104%
104%
All numbers are in thousands of dollars.

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