OANHSS Raises the Alarm at Government's Creeping Privatization of Healthcare and Community Services for Seniors

TORONTO, April 18, 2017 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association for Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS) is joining other advocacy groups in warning the provincial government and Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins against any further privatization of seniors' healthcare and community services.

"We learned late last week that the government may quietly drop the current requirement that only not-for-profit organizations are eligible for provincial funding to provide community support services," said Cathy Gapp, CEO of OANHSS. "This is another step towards the privatization of healthcare services in Ontario. It is important that Ontarians understand what's going on and it is important that it be stopped."

Currently, under Ontario's Home Care and Community Services Act only not-for-profit agencies are eligible to receive funding to provide community services. Bill 41, the Patients First Act passed by the Ontario Legislature on December 8, 2016, did not continue this requirement. In response to pressure from OANHSS and other advocacy groups, the government promised to restore it by way of regulation. This requirement was included in the draft regulation that was posted for public comment, but it became known late last week that Minister Hoskins has quietly dropped the not-for-profit eligibility requirement.

"This is particularly worrisome because just last week we raised a very similar concern when we appeared before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly to point out that the government's proposed Seniors Active Living Centres Act (Bill 87, Schedule 5) drops the requirement in the current legislation that only not-for-profit organizations are eligible to operate seniors' centres," added Gapp. "We argued very forcefully that this requirement must be reinstated."

OANHSS has consistently taken the position that there is a not-for-profit difference in services for seniors and governments need to recognize and support this difference. The evidence clearly indicates that not-for-profit organizations can be relied on to deliver higher-quality and more client and community-sensitive healthcare and support services to seniors.

OANHSS is the provincial association that for close to 100 years has represented not-for-profit providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Members include not-for-profit long term care homes (municipal, charitable and non-profit nursing homes), seniors' housing, supportive housing, and community service agencies. Member organizations serve over 36,000 long term care residents annually and operate over 8,000 seniors' housing units across the province.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)

For further information: Debbie Humphreys, Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, dhumphreys@oanhss.org, (W) 905-851-8821 ext. 233, (C) 416-553-7401

RELATED LINKS
http://www.oanhss.org

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Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)

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