Ontario Government Budget – OCSA Statement
The Ontario Community Support Association(OCSA) has reviewed the new Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy
The following is the analysis by OCSA:
Vulnerable Ontarians left to fend for themselves while they wait for institutions to be built
OCSA is concerned by the lack of noted investment for the care of clients in the home and community care sector in the 2021 Budget
TORONTO, March 25, 2021 – With the release of yesterday’s provincial budget, there is real concern that the government has failed to include much needed additional funding for nearly a million seniors and people living with disabilities that rely on home and community care across Ontario. While we have always acknowledged that Ontario desperately needs more health care infrastructure, vulnerable Ontarians and their caregivers need help now; they are burnt out, especially given the additional pressure from COVID-19.
“The lack of any mention of investments into the sector is extremely concerning and disappointing,” said Deborah Simon, CEO of the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA). “Our sector’s front-line staff and support staff are exhausted and undervalued; they need and deserve more than just thanks. While education and training can go a long way, PSWs, RPNs and RNs in our sector need decent, sustainable, competitive compensation; without it, not-for-profit agencies will be unable retain and deploy adequate staff to meet the needs of clients and we will quickly return to hallway healthcare as the threat of COVID-19 lessens.”
Not only has the government missed a crucial opportunity to keep thousands more Ontarians safe at home and out of hospitals and long-term care this year, but by not increasing home and community support services, OCSA cannot see how our not-for-profit members can continue to support the over 750,000 clients served in this sector to remain safely in their homes and communities without additional investments.
Every year for nearly a decade, provincial governments have put in needed funding for home and community care due to Ontario’s aging population, lack of facilities and the need for seniors to age safely in place; these issues have not changed since 2020. Last year’s budget included $267 million in additional funding, and in November the government added $100 million for the High Intensity Support Program, which alone helped keep an extra 850 Ontarians safe at home and out of long-term care.
Our agencies stepped up and delivered for Ontarians in need throughout the pandemic, managing to innovate through serious fundraising revenue shortfalls, which are unlikely to rebound soon. When adequately resourced, our sector and its employees help vulnerable Ontarians stay safe at home and in their communities, where they prefer to live. OCSA urgently calls on the government to clarify their funding approach and investments to ensure that the care of vulnerable Ontarians is not disrupted.
Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) represents close to 230 not-for-profit organizations that provide home care and community support services that help seniors and people with disabilities live independently in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. These compassionate and cost-effective services improve quality of life and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency room visits and premature institutionalization. They are the key to a sustainable health care system for Ontario. For more information, visit www.ocsa.on.ca and https://twitter.com/OCSAtweets.
To arrange an interview and more information please contact: