“Selinger to Expand Best Home Care Program in Canada with Doctors, Nurse Practitioners” NDP

Sep 28, 2011 | Government News

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McFadyen PC home care record: privatization, user fees and cuts to front line services

Greg Selinger and Today’s NDP will expand home care to include doctors, nurse practitioners and other health professionals to help seniors improve their health and remain in their own homes longer.

Greg Selinger

“Tens of thousands of seniors rely on home care every day, allowing them to continue to live safely in their own homes,” said Premier Selinger. “Our home care program is the best in Canada, and today we are announcing a plan to make it even better.”

Today’s NDP will expand home care with new hospital home teams to provide specialized services for seniors who would otherwise have to remain in hospital. The expansion will include a team of hospital professionals who will make home visits to seniors with fragile health issues in need of regular monitoring and specialized care, which are currently only available in a hospital.

In addition to the nurse and health care aide services already available through home care, the hospital home team will include doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists, speech language pathologists and respiratory therapists, all of whom will make home visits to seniors in their own homes.

The expanded hospital home team services will be first introduced through the Grace, Concordia and Victoria hospitals. The incremental cost of the program is $2.5 million, with new doctor and nurse practitioner positions accounted for in earlier fully-funded NDP campaign commitments to add 2,000 more nurses and 200 more doctors.

Selinger noted that the expanded home care services will help seniors remain safely at home longer with the supports they need.

The NDP established home care in Manitoba in 1974—the first universal home care program in Canada—which quickly became a model for other provinces. In the 1990s, the PCs attacked home care by introducing user fees and cutting services. During Mr. McFadyen’s tenure as Filmon’s chief advisor on health reform, which he later described as a “central strategic role”, the PCs tried to privatize home care services.

“The NDP have a demonstrated record of building and expanding services for seniors,” added Selinger. “Mr. McFadyen and the PCs have consistently attacked home care by introducing user fees, cutting services and experimenting with privatization. That’s his resume, and that’s a risk seniors can’t afford to take.”

The NDP repaired the damage the PCs did to home care, by eliminating their user fees and keeping home care services public after forming government in 1999. Since then, home care has been expanded to thousands more seniors and the NDP government has added over 900 personal care home spaces and supportive housing units.

Earlier this year, Selinger announced an expansion of home care, with more hours to help seniors remain at home longer and a new rehabilitation program to help seniors regain their functioning quickly following an injury or surgery. This was part of the NDP government’s renewed long term care strategy, which also includes a $200 million fund to build more personal care homes and more affordable supportive housing for seniors.

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