BRACEBRIDGE,  ON – An announcement by Ontario’s Minister of Health has Parry Sound-Muskoka’s MPP Norm Miller happy for seniors in the riding.

Christine Elliot confirmed the government would provide an additional $155 million in funding to expand home and community care services. It is a move Miller views as positive for the province’s ageing population.

“This is great news for seniors and for everyone who needs to access our hospitals in Ontario,” said Miller. “The waiting list for home care is keeping many people in our local hospitals who do not need to be there.”

Elliot said it was important to invest in these services now to get people more help outside of hospital settings.

“Home and community care play a critical role in ending hallway health care,” said Elliott. “By making these significant investments and supporting partnerships between home and community care providers and busy hospitals, patients will experience quicker transitions between receiving hospital care and returning home with the appropriate support they need to properly recover, while also making sure hospital beds are available for those who need them.”

On the West Parry Sound Health Centre website, CEO Donald Sanderson identifies the number of alternative level of care (ALC) patients in the hospital as one of the three biggest issues facing healthcare in Parry Sound. Muskoka Algonquin Health Care has identified the same challenge and lobbied for more home care and long term care.

“Our large senior population contributes to the high number of ALC patients in both West Parry Sound Health Centre and Muskoka Algonquin Health Care,” said Miller. “Both hospitals are doing everything they can to move ALC patients out of hospital but can’t do that without more long term care beds and home care. I regularly hear about constituents who are stuck in hospital because they are having trouble accessing home care. This investment, along with our government’s commitment to create more long term care beds, will relieve the pressure on our hospitals and provide support for our seniors.”

By investing in more front-line patient care, the province can provide:

  •       1.8 million more hours of personal support services
  •       490,000 more nursing visits and 100,000 more therapy visits
  •       Services in the community like homemaking, meals, transportation and caregiver supports
  •       Additional direct community services for patients with acquired brain injury and people living in supportive housing.