Bill 175 Fails Home and Community Care Clients, Care Coordinators and Direct Care Teams
July 9, 2020
TORONTO, July 9, 2020 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) has serious concerns that while Ontarians are preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ford government has passed Bill 175, the province’s home and community healthcare legislation. The bill, says ONA, fails those who work in and rely on home and community care.
“This legislation, which the government says is intended to end fragmentation in the sector, does not address the very issues that have caused the crisis in home and community care,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “Worse, it will broaden the role of for-profit entities in home and community care, does nothing to benefit anyone but shareholders, and leaves the very people who have been the central source of in-depth assessments, information and navigation for clients of home and community care in a tenuous and uncertain position.”
McKenna says Bill 175 is intentionally vague and unclear regarding the vital role of care coordinators, the registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and health-care professionals who are pivotal in assessing the needs of those seeking home and community care, as well as those working as part of direct-healthcare teams. She says the introduction of private, for-profit providers into home and community care more than a decade ago coincided with a decline in access to healthcare in the sector.
“Health-care, as a whole, is more than stressed right now,” says McKenna. “Introducing more uncertainty is not what is needed. Fundamentally pulling the rug out from under the feet of those dedicated care providers working in this underfunded sector while Ontarians are focused on COVID-19 sets the stage for chaos in the future. That future, under this legislation, may very well include a home and community care sector rife with conflicts of interest, because Bill 175 enables for-profit service providers to also determine which services clients receive, and then bill the government and/or individuals for those services.”
Bill 175, she says, removes the Bill of Rights for patients from legislation, removes consistency of care across the province, erodes the working conditions for care coordinators and direct care teams. and removes the complaints process. The bill also removes essentially everything from existing legislation into regulation, including that care coordinators must be part of the Regulated Health Professions Act.
“This enormously impacts care coordinators who are social workers,” says McKenna. This group of health-care professionals would be excluded from doing their work at a time when Ontario needs to retain every health-care professional it possibly can. What is left is a home and community care sector where for-profits can get rich, where patients/clients have few rights and where care coordinators and providers struggle to ensure quality care in an unaccountable system left in chaos.”
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
For more information:
Sheree Bond 416-986-8240; email@example.com