SEIU Healthcare calls on all parties to fulfill promise of homecare

Attention News/Politics Editors

New investment in homecare too important to risk

(May 2, 2013 - Richmond Hill, ON) SEIU Healthcare called on Ontario’s political parties to work together to fulfill the promise made in today’s provincial Budget to improve access to homecare.

“We simply can’t afford to waste this opportunity to cut wait times for all seniors and family caregivers who need relief,” said Sharleen Stewart, President, SEIU Healthcare Ontario’s largest healthcare union.

The organization welcomed the pledge to invest $260-million more in homecare in 2013, as part of a plan to meet the needs of an aging population and sustain public healthcare. But it cautioned that wait times need to be cut for all seniors on waiting lists, and emphasized the importance of intervening early before conditions become complex.

SEIU also insisted that investments should go to the frontline not the bottom line.

“We must reduce the amount of spending that goes to CEOs,” continued Stewart. “With only 35% of every public dollar spent on homecare going to the frontline, there are many opportunities to improve how healthcare dollars are allocated.”

SEIU Healthcare called for a hard cap on hospital CEO pay, and said the province needed to invest in the heart of healthcare: the people that keep hospitals working, and ensure funding kept pace with demand.

The organization made a presentation to Finance Minister Charles Sousa in early April for input on the development of the provincial government's 2013 budget. Recommendations focused on initiatives in community-based and long-term care designed to improve the cost efficiency and transparency of the health sector and improve both the quality and value of care people receive. Research shows that cost-effectiveness in health delivery is achieved when administrative costs are reduced and investments are made in front-line health professionals.

“We are pleased that some of our recommendations have been incorporated into the budget and we look forward to working with all parties to ensure these new commitments are implemented in a way that ensures the long term sustainability of the healthcare system,” concluded Stewart.

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