OTTAWA, Sept. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) congratulates the Health Council of Canada on the release of their insightful and thought provoking report "Better health, better care, better value for all: Refocusing health care reform in Canada". The report, based on the Council's extensive review of data spanning a decade, accumulated knowledge and insights into Canada's health system, assessed the investments and impact of the health accords. Their conclusion; the system transformation that was anticipated did not occur.
The report reinforced the urgent need for Canada to shift our health care focus from short-term, acute care to long-term chronic care to meet the growing needs of our aging population. Hospital care continues to dominate Canada's health care spending despite the proven need for better prevention and management of chronic disease, improved primary health care, and expanded home care services.
"The impact of this imbalance is being felt by home care programs and is impacting Canadians across the country" said Nadine Henningsen, Executive Director, CHCA., "We know that the need for home care services is outpacing public funding". The results are service limitations, increased demand on family caregivers, unnecessary hospital visits and premature admissions to long-term care facilities. "The percentage of public health care funding to home care from the provinces and territories has either decreased or not changed over the past five years", added Henningsen.
The Council's report framed the challenge and magnitude of health transformation in the larger context of our global economy and the wide spread recognition that all our health and social systems must achieve greater value with limited resources. The CHCA concurs with the Council's urging for immediate actions to 'address issues of preventive care, home care, and chronic disease management, and to integrate services better within and across sectors based on a patient-centred model of care'. The recommendations for balanced goals and specific actions to facilitate the role and contribution of both home care and primary health care, contained in the report, reflect the direction and opportunities embraced by home care stakeholders across the country.
"The CHCA is committed to providing leadership in an ongoing campaign to champion the adoption and implementation of a set of harmonized principles for home care that will articulate a common framework for home care services across the country without prescribing how they are funded, administered or delivered," stated John Schram, President CHCA. "Adoption of these principles will support consistency and equity across the country and facilitate benchmarking and sharing of best practices".
The recognition of family caregivers in the Council's recommendations for actions reinforces the vital role they play in our health care system. According to Statistics Canada, eight million Canadians contribute, on average 10 hours per week to the care of family and loved ones. "With increasing demand and limited resources, the onus of care falls on family caregivers, the majority of whom are women, to provide home care to the frail elderly and those with chronic, long-term conditions," said Donna Dill, Past-President, CHCA. "To ensure a sustainable health care system, we must provide the necessary supports for family caregivers."
The CHCA thanks the Council for their extraordinary work and collaboration with stakeholders across the country. Their astute observations and sound recommendations will have a tremendous impact on health care transformation in Canada.
The Canadian Home Care Association is a national not-for-profit membership association dedicated to ensuring the availability of accessible, responsive home care and community supports to enable people to safely stay in their homes with dignity, independence, and quality of life.
SOURCE: Canadian Home Care Association
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Canadian Home Care Association