Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ontario creating a registry of PSWs

Ontario is creating a registry of personal support workers (PSWs) that will better recognize the work they do for Ontarians, while helping to better meet the needs of the people for whom they care.

Unfortunately, this registry appears to be shaped by others than taxpayers. Politicians and ministry representatives are speaking to lobby groups, such as Personal Support Network of Ontario (PSNO) and the Ontario Personal Support Network Association (

Excellent groups, both, but governed by those who have joined these groups. OPSWA has a Board of Directors, including a nurse. PSNO is an off-shoot of OCSA, the Ontario Community Support Association. None of these groups get ministry funding, rightly so, but neither are they democratic, nor do they represent all PSWs.

Family members, and those interested in senior health, and concerned, as I am, have no voice. I believe that we need more regulation, more training, and better accountability of private, for-profit businesses, transfer payment agencies, and institutions who hire PSWs.

Across Canada, even with the Health Accord, there are varying wait times, varying standards of healthcare access. Some provinces have managed to bypass the accord, and create two-tier systems, with doctors in private practices that charge extra fees to serve fewer Canadians. It is called Concierge Healthcare.

Canadians have even less of a voice than before. Politicians are listening to lobby groups, not to family members who are doing the caregiving. These people are too busy to talk, with estimates that 20% are facing stress, due to caregiving's difficult social, emotional, and physical issues.


  • Personal support worker day is May 19th and recognizes the contributions of personal support workers to our health care system.
  • There are an estimated 90,000 personal support workers in Ontario with about 57,000 providing care in long-term care homes and 26,000 in home care through community health agencies. About 7,000 personal support workers provide care in hospitals.
  • The work of personal support workers ranges from assisted daily living tasks (such as personal hygiene, transferring clients between bed and chair, taking medication and doing light housework) to delegated health procedures (such as changing dressings, tube feedings and oxygen therapy).
  • To date, stakeholders have provided valuable input into this registry. Consultations with PSWs, their representatives and other stakeholders will begin in the summer.
  • The British Columbia government created a registry for first care aides 

1 comment:

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for your visit. Iread about your advice to volunteers about the things they can do for longterm patients. It's very useful. It' s more difficult to take care of your relatives than of strangers. I wish you good luck with your work. Have a great weekend!