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Healthcare only gets better with change

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In an article published on thestar.com on Thursday, the 12th of March, Theresa Boyle discussed how the Ontario’s home and community care system is failing patients and their families and how a report by a group of expert panel suggests ways to make the system more liable, organized and family-centered.

The 51 page report that acknowledges the growing pressures on the more than three million unpaid caregivers in Ontario, asserts that the system fails to meet the needs of clients and families. Therefore, 16 recommendations were made to make the system more trustworthy. In addition to these recommendations is a focus on creating a “cultural shift,” to make the system more centered around the needs of clients and families rather than those of service providers. The report states that clients and families are confused about the availability of publicly covered services, and that the assessment process for determining eligibility is not transparent.

According to Gail Donner, former dean of nursing at the University of Toronto and chair of the expert panel, the recommendations will begin to make it possible to have a robust family-centered model of integrated and co-ordinated care for families at home. Experts says the report validates concerns, the recommendations will serve as an important guide in improving and transforming the home and community care sector and that the government should adopt the recommendations as soon as possible. But, Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition is concerned that a recommendation calling for LHINS to select a lead agency to design and co-ordinate delivery of services could lead to more privatization of health care.

The article states that a scathing report on the state of home care in the province had been released earlier that week. A Toronto resident, Tracey MacMaster agrees that changes are desperately needed, and believes that her mother’s stroke was partly due to the insufficient home care. She said her elderly mother lived alone in Burlington and could not properly care for herself. MAcMaster had to make a ”big fuss” with the CCAC and wait three months just to get her mother one hour of care a week. This goes to show how desperately changes are needed.

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