‘Impossible challenge’ ahead if home care not improved in Quebec, report says

Home health care in Quebec is in a rough state, and there will be grave consequences if the government doesn’t turn it around soon according to a report released by Quebec’s Health and Wellness Commissioner on Tuesday.

Joanne Castonguay is painting a bleak picture of the current situation and the vital necessity for action.“How do you measure the size of a challenge like this? I don’t know,” Castonguay said at a press conference.Her new 280-page report outlines several key problems, how the government can begin to fix them, and how our aging population will suffer if they don’t.“I think the challenge is big, but I think the time is now,” she said.

The commissioner estimates last year Quebec only provided about 10 per cent of the home care hours actually needed and says that discrepancy will only get worse if nothing is done.She cited research saying seniors want home care, and said costs far less taxpayer money compared to sending people to hospital.

However, the government remains mired in a hospital-centric approach that is no longer in touch with reality, she said.She denounced how an ambitious home care plan Quebec proposed in 2003 was barely implemented. Castonguay said what is in place is overly complicated and performs poorly. Most people don’t even know how to get access to home care, and services vary widely based on where you are.

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