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Could a home care plan end overcrowding in hospitals?


Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford is about to make some pretty drastic changes to Ontario’s health system and one way he plans on tackling the issue of hospital overcrowding by developing a comprehensive home care plan.
The umbrella group Home Care Ontario launched a campaign this week called “End Hallway Healthcare.” The group of for-profit and non-profit agencies will pitch home care as an affordable solution to the province’s chronically overstretched supply of hospital beds.
The providers make a compelling case for funding more on publicly-funded home care as it would drastically reduce the need for hospital admissions as well as ensure admitted patients to leave hospitals faster if there is follow-up home care.
It is estimated that 4,000 patients in Ontario hospitals don’t actually require an acute-care bed. They are in fact waiting for a spot in long-term care or home-care services.
Experts have come around to the idea that merely adding more beds isn’t the solution to solving the hallway health crisis.
The home-care providers believe Ford’s PC government, in its drive to cut costs, will be interested in shifting spending from pricey hospital rooms to far cheaper home care.
Home care is on the radar of a panel of experts that Ford appointed to look into the problem. Known as the Premier’s Council of Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine, the experts said some people are spending more days in hospital than they need to because they can’t access other options for health care.

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