(Chapter 8, pg 182)
The proposed new Home Care Transfer should be used to support expansion of the Canada Health Act to include medically necessary home care services in the following areas:
• Home mental health case management and intervention services should immediately be included in the scope of medically necessary services covered under the Canada Health Act.
• Home care services for post-acute patients, including coverage for medication management and rehabilitation services, should be included under the Canada Health Act.
• Palliative home care services to support people in their last six months of life should also be included under the Canada Health Act.
Human Resources Development Canada, in conjunction with Health Canada should be directed to develop proposals to provide direct support to informal caregivers to allow them to spend time away from work to provide necessary home care assistance at critical times.
Chapter 8, pg 183
In addition to informal caregivers, there also is an abundance of volunteers who devote hours of service caring for people who are ill. The Health Charities Council of Canada (2002) estimated that, in 1997, 93 million hours of formal volunteering were provided in Canada, on top of over 2 billion hours of informal caregiving. The combined value of these services was estimated at between $20 and $30 billion.
(Chapter 8, pg 184)
Making certain aspects of home care an insured service under the revised Canada Health Act is a clear sign that Canada’s health care system is evolving to meet the changing reality of health care delivery in Canada. More specifically, as a result of these recommendations: • All Canadians from coast to coast to coast will have access to essential home mental health case management and interventions, post-acute home care services, and palliative home care services;
• Particularly in the case of mental health, trained professionals will be available to intervene with temporary behaviour or other problems and help people with mental health problems cope with their illnesses on an ongoing basis;
• Essential home care support will be available for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to help them and their families cope with the situation and make decisions about the best options for care;
• People who are dying and who prefer to die in their own homes will get the care they need to be able to die with dignity;
• People who are released early from hospital will receive the necessary treatments and support at home, including support for rehabilitation; and
• For the first time, the invaluable role of informal caregivers will be recognized and supported, and people will be able to take the time they need from work to provide care for their loved ones at home.
This is a vitally important step for Canadians. It means home care will be increasingly integrated with the rest of Canada’s health care system. And it means Canadians will be able to maintain their health, recuperate and recover, or spend their dying days in their own homes with the care and support they need.