Statement from the Canadian Red Cross and Red Cross Care Partners

Re: Minister of Health's announcement regarding Personal Support Workers

TORONTO, April 29, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) and Red Cross Care Partners (RCCP) applaud today's announcement by Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, regarding an increase in the compensation of Ontario's community sector Personal Support Workers (PSWs).  PSWs provide the majority of front-line home and community support services to our province's most vulnerable populations.

This funding, once implemented, will improve the community sector's capacity to recruit and retain the PSWs we need to provide the best possible community care to Ontarians.  In particular, the funds will help close the significant compensation gap between PSWs working in the community and institutional settings such as hospitals.

In recent years, government funding has been tied exclusively to increased service levels, seriously constraining the ability of service providers to grant pay increases to front-line staff.   

While this planned increase will help to stabilize the community-sector PSW workforce, there will be more work to do in the coming months to ensure that our province is providing the best possible community care to Ontarians.

The transition taking place within the health care sector – from institutions to more home and community-based care – is an important one and we recognize that it is not one that will take place overnight. CRC and RCCP hope to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Ministry in the coming months to offer our perspective and advice on what additional improvements can be made to ensure that Ontario is providing quality and affordable community care to our seniors and most vulnerable populations at home.

Conrad Sauvé, CEO & Secretary General 

Claude Tremblay, CEO

Canadian Red Cross 

Red Cross Care Partners

About Red Cross Care Partners

Bringing together the Canadian Red Cross's tradition of compassion, experience and quality personal support services with the respected nursing and therapy services of CarePartners, this new organization is an innovative response to the ever-growing demand for home and community-based health care. Our comprehensive network of services are available to clients in urban, rural and remote communities across Ontario. Our dedicated team of nurses, therapists and community support workers deliver a broad range of expert and cost-effective services ranging from chronic illness management, nutrition, physiotherapy, to personal grooming and support, all aimed at helping to ensure clients enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with staying in their own homes.

About the Canadian Red Cross:

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 188 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.  In Canada, the Canadian Red Cross responds every four hours to disasters ranging from house fires to forest fires and flooding.  Each year, Red Cross volunteers deliver tens of thousands of hours of community-based health services to those aging or recovering in their own homes from illness or surgery.

SOURCE Canadian Red Cross

For further information: Tanya Elliott, Director of Communications, Canadian Red Cross, 905.460.7966, Tanya.elliott@redcross.ca