ONTARIO COMMUNITY SUPPORT ASSOCIATION

ONTARIO COMMUNITY SUPPORT ASSOCIATION

February 08, 2005 10:23 ET

$225M NEEDED TO STABILIZE COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES

3 YEAR FUNDING PLAN SUBMITTED TO THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ON--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 8, 2005) - The provincial government needs to act immediately to provide a meaningful, multi-year funding commitment for community support services, says the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA).

In a pre-budget submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, OCSA is recommending $225M ($75M for each of the next three years) to stabilize those services and develop a comprehensive infrastructure that is required to respond adequately to the government transformation agenda.

"Ontario is well positioned to introduce new thinking and models for health care based on cost-effective, community-based primary care for people. We look forward to continuing to work with the Ontario government to ensure Ontarians receive appropriate and cost effective health care", explained Joe McReynolds, CEO.

Last year the government invested $29.2M in Community Support Services. This allowed for a 3.8% increase to assist with increases to the cost of living. In the previous 10 years, the sector has only received a 2.5% increase while the cost of living has risen over 40%.

"We were pleased with a budget increase last year but much more commitment is required to build up those community supports that will facilitate system change with the introduction of Local Health Integrated Networks", says Valerie Bishop-de Young, OCSA President.

The intrinsic value of community support services - and their connectivity to communities across the province -- needs to be recognized through a special status in the health care system that is consistent with the transformational agenda now underway. For every dollar the Government invests in a community support agency, another 42 cents is raised in the community. The extensive use of volunteers adds human resources value to the health care system. The Ontario Government must take immediate steps to protect these precious local resources.

The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) represents 360 community support agencies that provide a broad basket of services such as Meals on Wheels, adult/Alzheimer day programs, personal and home support, transportation and supportive housing programs. Member agencies have 25,000 staff and 100,000 volunteers. 750,000 people of all ages across Ontario receive community support services each year. These important, cost-effective services prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, ER admissions and premature institutionalization.

Ontarians want public policy that provides the right services at the right time to help them age successfully in place for as long as possible. This is the right of every citizen.
IN: HEALTH, LABOUR, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • LORI PAYNE, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, OCSA
    Primary Phone: 416-256-3010 ext. 242
    Toll-Free: 800-267-6272
    E-mail: lori@ocsa.on.ca