Skip to main content

Home care funding falls short - of even aging cost pressures?



The Ontario government likes to suggest that the planned annual 4% nominal increase in "home and community care" funding will offset their cuts to hospital services and squeeze on long term care beds.

But it's not totally clear that this funding will offset cost pressures on home and community care arising from the rapid growth in the elder population -- never mind growth in the entire population,  never mind inflation, never mind unmet home care needs, never mind hospital cuts, never mind the squeeze on long term care beds.

The Ontario Ministry of Finance estimates that those aged 85 and over will increase 18.8% in the four years from 2012 to 2016. That equals a 4.4% annual average increase. The 90 and over portion of that group will increase much more: 35.1%. That's almost 8% per year.

This is relevant to the cost pressures on home care as this age group requires an awful lot of home care. A December 2012 Statistics Canada report indicates that 54% of the population 85 and older report receiving formal or informal home care in 2009.  The study indicates that this probably under-estimates the actual use of home care (and that half  of those who reported receiving home care report receiving only informal home care  -- e.g. from a spouse).

There is also significant population growth for elders 65 to 84 years (15% over 4 years) -- and this group also reports a high use of home care (albeit much less than the 85 and older group).

Notably, the Stats Can study notes that 4.1% of all elders (and 6.7% of elders 85 and older) report unmet home care needs. It adds: "Close to two-thirds (63%) of seniors with unmet needs for formal care attributed them to personal circumstances, such as inability to pay; 24% cited features of the health care system, including lack of service availability; and the remaining 13% mentioned a combination of both".

Finally, the study notes that those elderly with disabilities, or with personal care or mobility issues, report much more frequently that they have unmet home care needs (10% of those with a severe disability, 20% of those with personal care issues, and 29% of those with mobility issues).
 
Photo by Squishband

Popular posts from this blog

Deficit? Public spending ain't the cause. Revenue, however...

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it.

Another option -- increasing revenue from corporations and the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces.

Instead, it indicates Ontario has very low revenue. 
Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have an over-spending problem.  If anything, this suggests we have an under-spending problem.







The Ontario government has also now reported in the 2014 Budget that Ontario has the lowest revenue per capita of any province.  This is particularly notable as other provinces are quite a bit poorer than Ontario and therefore have a much more limited ability to pay for public spending.  (Also notable in this…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …