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Nickel Belt MPP speaks out on failing state of Ontario's home, community care system

NDP health critic claims too many people are falling through the cracks and not being properly cared for
Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas. (File)

Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, the NDP health care critic, spoke out in the Ontario legislature Monday, commenting on what she said was the sad state of Ontario’s home and community care system.

“Mr. Speaker, I continue to receive numerous messages from patients and their family about the lack of care from Home and Community Care Support Services. Patients are receiving below-standard level and quality of care from overworked and underpaid home care nurses and PSWs. Not to mention the multiple missed visits every single week," Gélinas told the House.

She said her concern was the Conservative government rushed Bill 175 through the legislature in 2020 with the goal of connecting people to home and community care. 

"What did they connect to Mr. Speaker? The same legacy for profit providers that underpay their staff and shortchange their patients," she said. 

Gélinas said the result is that there are not enough workers to care for elderly people after their surgery, or to look out for a special-needs student in her riding because there is no special care provider. Another concern is that some home-care patients who are medically fragile cannot get confirmation that the home-care worker will be vaccinated.

"When these families approach the government to say that the agency is not showing up, not providing the care they need, the government directs them back to the provider," said Gélinas.  She added that it is the government's role to fund the home-care system, but the system is failing more patients than it helps every day. 

"And this government continues to throw good money after bad to private for-profit providers who continue to shortchange patients, underpay and disrespect their workers and under-deliver care. This shell game needs to end Mr. Speaker. Home care is a key pillar of our health-care system. Home is where people want to live and recover. We must fix our home-care system now.”