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 (OPSWA.ca).
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.