The federal government plays an important role in the health of Canadians. Although constitutional responsibility for funding and delivery of health care rests with the provinces and territories, the federal government has several responsibilities that impact health and social. Two important departments, Health Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada, have a direct impact on health and labour markets across Canada.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Recognizing the many challenges home and community care providers are facing during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the CHCA is working with our membership to engage the federal, provincial, and territorial governments on priority issues.   We continue to identify challenges and opportunities that resonate across the country. Our policy team is collaborating with other national and regional organizations to create a strong advocacy agenda that will:

  • Ensure the perspective of home and community care providers is considered
  • Leverage the expertise of national and regional NGOs through collaborative partnerships
  • Provide a reputable source of information to organizations
  • Inform government policy directions that impact home and community care

Through a targeted advocacy strategy, we are informing government decision-makers and impacting the dialogue on urgent priorities.

News

Persons with disabilities and COVID-19: What makes them vulnerable?

Using data from the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, this infographic provides a snapshot of potential areas of impact and unique challenges persons with disabilities may face during the pandemic.

Availability and consistent employment for unregulated health care workers

CHALLENGES: Unregulated home health care workers (i.e. personal support workers / health care aides) who work in the home care sector earn on average 25% and 50 % less than workers in long-term care facilities and hospitals, respectively.

SOLUTIONS: Access to training, education, fair compensation, and secure working conditions is essential for these workers. As an immediate step to this goal, the CHCA asked the federal government for a “top up” compensation program that includes unregulated home health care workers providing essential services during COVID-19. Administered through the provincial / territorial governments the program recognizes bot publicly and privately paid providers.

Safe care for patients and health care providers

CHALLENGES: Health care providers are experiencing a widespread shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessary supplies to ensure effective infection control and limit the spread of the virus during care delivery. Home and community care providers are often overlooked or not included in provincial PPE distribution strategies.

SOLUTIONS:  Appropriate trained and equipped health care workers can provide safe and effective care to frail seniors and vulnerable individuals in the safety of their own homes. To make this happen the CHCA is advocating for access to personnel protective equipment (PPE) for home care providers, the creation of a reimbursement fund for providers who have experienced extraordinary financial burden due to inflated PPE prizes and unprecedented demand, and access to training on the proper use of PPE

FEDERAL BUDGET

The systemic challenges of our current approach to long-term care have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has shone a light on the urgent need to re-evaluate the disproportionate number of seniors with a frailty who are admitted to long-term care facilities rather than receiving care at home. These pre-budget recommendations speak to the needs of today and the future based on the stark lessons learned from COVID-19. Collaborative action is required by all levels of government to build capacity in a currently underfunded and underdeveloped but vital part of our health care system.

Recommendations

FUNDING

With federal leadership, undertake a review of the existing 2016–17 federal, provincial, and territorial health accords targeting home and community care in light of COVID-19 and the importance of long-term care in the home setting. Accelerate transfer payments to expand and equip home care programs in anticipation of wave 2 of the global pandemic.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Expedite the development of continuing education standards for non-regulated workers and increase skills proficiency through education and practice standards.

CAREGIVERS

Create national caregiver legislation that defines the essential role of caregivers in the health and social care system. This includes caregiver supports, rights, recognition and support for National Caregiver Day (first Tuesday in April) to increase awareness of Canadians providing care.

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

Informing the National Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias

The CHCA conducted online surveys throughout January 2018, Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, targeting home care service providers and carers. The objective of the surveys was to gain a better understanding of what is needed to make home care better for people living with dementia and support their caregivers who play such a vital role. This report summarizes the feedback from the surveys and has been used to inform the federal government in its advancement of Bill C-233, an Act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Download the report

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