Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ontario budget and senior healthcare

CARP, a Canadian lobby group, interprets the latest Ontario budget. I am dubious about CARP's conclusions, as a lobby group is made up of navel gazing individuals.

I am reluctant to believe that the government should force private business, i.e., insurance companies, to lower insurance rates by 15%. It is the cost of doing business.
That said, the ageism in auto insurance and driver testing is part of the statistics they rely on to determine who pays how much. We know that young drivers are more likely to have accidents, but these stats are closely followed by older drivers who, km for km, drive less but have more driving incidents than new drivers.

We know what aging does to a body, reaction times are slower, vision and hearing impairments occur, undiagnosed dementia is likely, and physical infirmities reduce mobility.

In terms of healthcare, the budget is putting more money into home care, but at the expense of hospitals, and other institutions. The for-profit long-term care sector is struggling and needs minimum standards of care. This is not happening. Yet our tax dollars continue to subsidize these for-profit businesses. Most of the LTC in Ontario (about 500/600 homes) are for-profit.

Many are lauding the money directed towards healthcare and a 5-day maximum waiting time for home care, but where will this money come from?
There are many who should not be cared for at home, despite a fervent desire to die in their own homes. Panic on the part of caregivers ensues, and patients are popped into the ER at the least little issue. For those who are palliative, the ability of loved ones to provide home care lessens with lack of education, supportive family, and the money to pay for extra help. Many are unable
to change adult briefs for a spouse or parent. Many do not understand the protocols of end-of-life care: turning the patient every two hours, mouthcare, pain management. You are in a strange curcumstance, even if you have training.

CARP Analysis of Ontario Budget 2013

The budget did not adequately address a number of CARP members’ priority concerns – seniors’ poverty, equitable access to affordable drugs and ending ageist auto insurance and driver testing policies.

Although the budget took no further action on pharmacare, it announced good news for home and community care. Funding for home and community care will increase by 1% and new targets for service delivery will be introduced. As a result of the 1% increase, in addition to last year’s 4% increase, a total of $260 million will be allocated to home and community care for 2013-2014.

1 comment:


Very interesting post. And you truly make us aware of some valid points here. Of course, I don't live in Canada, but to have the input of what y'all are going through with tax hikes/tax breaks, it makes me realize that we're not the only ones that has a mixed up/messed up government.