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ONA will be a key stakeholder in government's transformation of community care

December 17, 2015

On December 17, the government released a discussion paper on the transformation of community care including Community Care Access Centres (CCACs). The government acknowledges the integral role that Care Coordinators have in the coordination of home care services.

The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) will be a full participant and key stakeholder in the government's upcoming consultation on the discussion paper over the next two to three months.

The government's proposal is as follows:

1. Ending the existing role and structure of the CCACs. The transition period is expected to take at least one year. This will include the dissolution of the CCAC Boards of Directors.
2. The Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) will become the employer for all unionized CCAC members. It is the government's intention to maintain our Collective Agreements/wages/benefits and pensions. (This will be at least one year out).
3. The LHINs will become accountable for primary care agencies including Family Health Teams, Community Health Centres, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Led Clinics and Physician groups.
4. Public Health will continue to be under municipal management.

ONA has determined the following principles that will form the backdrop for our position to be set out in the consultation:

1. Provide stability and continuity of services to the public through continuity of the role of Care Coordinators and other CCAC direct care services, e.g. Rapid Response Nurses, Palliative NPs and Placement Coordinators.
2. Ensure continuity of the wages, benefits and working conditions (including pensions) of CCAC ONA members through legislation in order to maintain good jobs.
3. Ensure minimal bureaucracy as necessary to support health integration processes - reinvesting funding in front-line care for our patients. 
4. Work towards a fully integrated public home care system that integrates the delivery of home care services and care coordination.
5. Ensure that any savings from the reduction in the duplication and fragmentation that exists in the current system is reinvested in home care services.

ONA has reviewed the discussion paper released today by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). We have set out below ONA's initial thoughts on the proposals:

• ONA supports the ongoing continuity of the terms and conditions of work, including wages, benefits and pensions, for Care Coordinators (and other ONA classifications). Our work in CCACs will remain status quo during the transition period (except for normal changes that would occur over the course of the next year).

• ONA supports the transfer of CCAC work to the LHINs and hospitals.

• ONA supports a much smaller bureaucracy and management within the new structures that facilitates the ability of Care Coordinators to provide the full scope of work and services to their patients.

• ONA believes that quality patient care will be achieved through integration of home care delivery and care coordination in a non-profit structure that is able to provide continuity of patient home care services.

In Solidarity,
Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN
ONA Provincial President

Document Download: Letter from Dr. Eric Hoskins regarding the Patients First proposal

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