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.

SHORT TERM PRIORITIES

Through a targeted advocacy strategy, we are informing government decision-makers and impacting the dialogue on two short-term priority areas:

  • Consistent Employment of Unregulated Health Care Workers by creating a compensation package that values their work and role
  • Recognition of Home Health Care is an Essential Service appropriately supported by public health funding during the crisis

MEDIUM TERM PRIORITIES

We continue to work with our membership 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

UPDATE ON STATUS AND ACTION

(May 11, 2020)

Below is a summary of status and next steps for our immediate advocacy priorities.

CONSISTENT EMPLOYMENT OF UNREGULATED HEALTH CARE WORKERS

The CHCA is asking the federal government for a “top up” compensation program must be designed as an employer subsidy that includes unregulated home health care workers providing essential services during COVID-19. The program should be administered through provincial / territorial governments.

  • On May 7, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that cost-sharing plans for topping-up the wages of essential workers have been confirmed, or are in the process of being confirmed, with all provinces and territories. The federal government will contribute up to $3 billion to increase low-income essential workers pay. The provinces and territories will determine the eligibility criteria and levels of support.
  • To date, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia have made announcement on eligibility and access to this compensation program.

RECOGNITION OF HOME HEALTH CARE IS AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE

The CHCA is encouraging provincial and territorial governments to recognize home health care as an essential service, ensure appropriate financial and resources, and increase referrals to home care services for frail elderly and vulnerable populations.

ENSURE SAFETY FOR PATIENT AND PROVIDERS

The CHCA is advocating for access to personnel protective equipment (PPE) for home care providers and provide a reimbursement fund for providers who have experienced extraordinary financial burden due to inflated PPE prizes and unprecedented demand.

  • The CHCA is advocating for access to personnel protective equipment (PPE) for home care providers and provide a reimbursement fund for providers who have experienced extraordinary financial burden due to inflated PPE prizes and unprecedented demand.
  • On May 3, Public Services and Procurement Canada introduced the COVID-19 Supply Council to provide advice on the procurement of critical goods and services to the federal government. The Council will play a significant role in establishing supply chains for PPE and other medical products needed for frontline workers in essential service sectors. A list of members can be found here. Tariffs on PPE and other necessary medical equipment will be waived to reduce the cost of import.

FEDERAL ELECTION 2019

Federal elections provide a unique opportunity to inform and influence the federal government’s priorities by bringing forward issues that impact Canadians. Home and community-based care is a priority.

When shaping “asks” for the federal government, the CHCA draws upon our membership to determine what home and community-care issues resonate across the country. Building on these priorities, the CHCA advocacy team creates compelling arguments, supported by facts and figures, that reinforce existing pan-Canadian initiatives (e.g., the national palliative care strategy and the dementia strategy). Key messages, suggestions to get actively involved in the election conversations and relevant statistics are all included in the member National Election Advocacy Campaign.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Introduce targeted programs to alleviate the shortage of unregulated home care workers. This could include enhanced federal immigration programs and training grants to encourage foreign workers to choose careers as unregulated home care workers.

ACCESS TO HOME CARE

Create incentives to support equitable access to home care services across the country. This could include removal of GST/HST from all privately paid home care services, tax savings and long-term care savings plans, enhanced home modifications.

SUPPORT CAREGIVERS

Advance the recommendations in the national strategies on palliative care and dementia. This could include targeted supports, education, financial incentives, skills training and funding research to enable evidence-informed decision making.

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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Established in 1990, the Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) is a national non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing excellence in home and community care.

National Office: 905-567-7373     |    General Inquiries: chca@cdnhomecare.ca

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