September 22, 2003 – Toronto, Ontario: Home and community care in Ontario is in crisis, seriously impacting on more than 100,000 Ontarians and their families!
Therefore, CARP challenges the three leaders to clearly state how they intend to immediately fund and ensure a sustainable home and community care system in order to provide appropriate services to all Ontarians who need it.
Seventy-five percent of CCACs have informed service provider agencies that they will have to slash services even more than already cut in order to maintain balanced budgets — as mandated by provincial regulations. For example, the Ottawa CCAC is warning new clients needing personal support services of a six-week waiting period.
Funding for home and community care promised by Queen’s Park in 1998 is not flowing. In fact, this funding has dropped proportionately as a percentage of the Ontario health budget to 1998 levels — it isn’t even keeping up with inflation, even though studies demonstrate the cost effectiveness of home and community care, which also prevents unnecessary and inappropriate hospitalization and institutionalization.
CARP is Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus, with 400,000 members across the country – and growing – and a million readers of its magazine. Its mandate is to promote and protect the rights and quality of life for older Canadians; its mission is to develop practical recommendations for the issues raised.