Home care and primary health care: a solid basis for the future

    OTTAWA, Jan. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA)
applauds the Health Council of Canada for their forward looking and practical
recommendations on advancing home care and primary health care in Canada. In
their report "Fixing the Foundation" the Health Council has effectively summed
up the challenges and opportunities of providing comprehensive and coordinated
care in the community and thus improving the health of Canadians.
    The report reinforces the CHCA's longstanding position that the health
care system is best served by a well resourced home care program. Home care
plays an important role in the support of individuals with health needs across
the continuum; ranging from health promotion, to curative intervention,
rehabilitation, support and maintenance, and end-of-life care. Expanded home
care programs must include chronic disease management, long term care and
preventative care in addition to acute care and palliative home care.
    While the Health Council identifies specific recommendations for primary
health care and home care, the CHCA adds that both of these foundational
elements must work together to realize the potential of community based care.
"The integration of primary health care and home care services is essential to
providing quality care in the community", said Nadine Henningsen, Executive
Director CHCA. "Home care expands the reach of primary health care teams and
supports physicians and their patients to access and navigate the health care
    The Heath Council's recommendations on speeding up the implementation of
the electronic health record and supporting accountability and information
reporting are critical to both home care and primary health care. The CHCA
urges the federal government to take a leadership role in supporting
jurisdictions to adopt technology and innovative practices that will enable
Canadians to better access care in their communities and at home. "Investment
in a technology strategy that starts with primary health care and home care,
reflecting where the individual has the most interaction with the health care
system, is a sound approach", stated Alice Mah Wren, CHCA President. "The
contribution of both home care and primary health care are vital to informing
a comprehensive electronic health record."
    The aging population, associated chronic conditions, increasing service
expectations and shrinking health human resources are key drivers influencing
the health system. Across the country health care leaders are implementing
health care strategies to proactively address the needs of Canadians. This
requires a greater investment in community-based services. The CHCA calls upon
federal, provincial and territorial governments to accept the challenge to
invest in home and primary care; and to make the necessary policy changes to
support a greater emphasis on proactive community based interventions.

    About the Canadian Home Care Association

    The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) is a not-for-profit membership
association dedicated to ensuring the availability of accessible, responsive
home care and community supports to enable people to stay in their homes with
safety, dignity and quality of life. Members of the Association include
organizations and individuals from publicly funded home care programs,
not-for-profit and proprietary service agencies, consumers, researchers,
educators and others with an interest in home care. Through the support of the
Association members who share a commitment to excellence, knowledge transfer
and continuous improvement, CHCA serves as the national voice of home care and
the access point for information and knowledge for home care across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Nadine Henningsen, (613) 569-1585,
chca@cdnhomecare.ca; For more information on the work of the Canadian Home
Care Association visit www.cdnhomecare.ca

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