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Ontario Health Coalition concerned about new Bill proposed by Ford government

Posted: March 7, 2020

(March 6, 2020)

By: Matt Dionne, inhalton.com

Representatives from the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) has raised concerns about the Ford government’s new home care legislation.

The OHC believes the legislation, entitled Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act 2020, is being rushed through the process without the proper vetting process and input from Ontario residents.

According to a media release from the OHC, the Bill was introduced on February 25 and is already in the final stages of its second-reading debate.

The OHC is urging the government to slow the process down and take the time to consult with Ontarians due to the fact the Bill will impact more than 730,000 residents who use home care services and many thousands more who require community care services.

Some of the OHC’s other concerns include:

  • The new legislation repeals the existing home and community care law and transfers almost all of its key elements to regulation which can be changed by the Ministers of the Ford government in Cabinet without ever going to a vote in the Legislature.
  • The new legislation dismantles all remaining public governance and control of home care and proposes to hand it off to provider companies, including for-profit companies, that do not have public governance and accountability.
  • There are no provisions to improve access to care, equity, home care assessments, quality of care and staffing shortages, and nothing that will stop the major problem of missed visits that risk people’s safety.
  • There are numerous provisions that would expand privatization not only of home care, but also potentially of parts of hospital and long-term care.
  • The proposal fragments care to a vast array of providers who would contract, sub-contract and run home care in different ways in different regions with very few public protections. It does not “integrate” home and community care.

“This legislation has been created in the backrooms without any public consultation,” Natalie Mehra, executive director of the OHC, said in the release.

“It is being railroaded through at break-neck speed before the vast majority of the more than 750,000 people impacted even know that it is happening. This is poor policy that benefits private interests seeking to increase their market share or their profit margins but it does not serve the public interest,” she continued.

“The major problems in home care require improved oversight, responsiveness and public accountability, not the total dismantling of public oversight,” she continued. “Handing more of home care over to private for-profit interests and expanding the scope for private for-profit companies to take over residential care for Ontarians is a recipe for disaster.

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