Cascading health care cuts are resulting in significant
problems for home care patients and their families, seriously undermining the main defense the government makes for its policy of hospital and long-term care cutbacks.
With hospital cutbacks and a virtual freeze on long-term care beds, home care and unpaid caregivers must now take care of sicker and sicker patients. This change in home care has been sudden and dramatic, as demonstrated in the graph below from the the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (the OACCAC represents the public sector organizations which manage home care for the government). The OACCAC suggests this shift means home care now replaces 150 long-term care homes, each with a capacity of 130 residents.
The OACCAC estimates cost pressures of about 5% per year to offset demographic changes and for the absorption of patients that would otherwise have been treated in hospitals or long-term care. The OACCAC adds that funding has fallen short of t…