Cutting “Hospital Home Care Teams” will hurt people, bottom line
Mar 17, 2017
As of March 31, 2017, Hospital Home Care Teams (HHCT) will
no longer be caring for clients with chronic health issues in their own home ―
leaving these clients at greater risk of relying on costly acute health care
“For a government that promised to both protect front-line services and find efficiencies in health care, cutting this program makes no sense at all,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “It doesn’t get more front-line than the daily preventative care these clients receive and the program’s key focus is to keep Manitobans out of high cost, overextended emergency rooms.”
Since its inception in 2013, the program has served approximately 550 clients and many family members are concerned about what the cuts will mean for their loved one’s ongoing well-being.
“Families are telling us that it is the continuity of care the team provides that leads to improved health and fewer visits to the hospital.” Gawronsky said.
In January, MGEU home care workers, who are part of the Hospital Home Care Team, were invited to a meeting with WRHA leadership and told that funding for the upcoming year past March 31 was not guaranteed.
“Of course, our members came to us, very concerned about their clients and their jobs,” Gawronsky said. “I don’t think anyone could understand why this of all programs would be cut.”
A recently provincial report released report by Mr. Reg Toews, considered to be the most current and definitive review of the province’s home care program, recommended that specialized programs like HHCTs not only continue to be funded, but also expanded into rural RHAs.
“This government commissioned Toews’ report to help identify the best way forward,” Gawronsky said. “Their own report recommended expanding hospital home care teams, not eliminating them. Something doesn’t add up here.”
With two weeks left before the program is officially shut down, Gawronsky urged the government to listen to Manitobans.
“It’s not too late to save this ambitious program. Let’s commit ourselves to maintaining and building win-win health care solutions that are caring, effective and fiscally responsible.”