January 29, 2003
OTTAWA, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - Ottawa patients needing post-hospital care will benefit from a new interim supportive care project launched by the Ontario government that links the Ottawa Community Care Access Centre with two Ottawa hospitals and local long-term care facilities, Health and Long-Term Care Minister Tony Clement said today. "The Ernie Eves government believes this supportive care project will result in better care for patients after they've received acute care services," Clement said. "We think it will take a huge burden off of family members and loved ones who would have otherwise had to care for these patients. But it's also time for the federal government to become a full partner in funding health care so that we can provide more of these services." Under this project, eligible patients, who apply and are willing to be admitted to a long-term care facility, will receive enhanced short-stay services in a long-term care facility for a period of up to 90 days - with the typical stay ranging from 30 to 60 days. Eligible patients will be those who no longer need acute care but still require 24-hour supervision, nursing care and other supports to enable them to recover strength, endurance or functioning. The Ottawa CCAC will provide services from health professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who will visit these patients while they are in long-term care facilities before they return home. The Ontario government provides $77.7 million in annual funding to the Ottawa CCAC, the largest of the province's 43 CCACs. "This project allows to significantly enhance the services patients receive while recovering. We will be better able to ensure that patients receive the right services in the right environment", said Sandra Golding, Executive Director of the Ottawa Community Care Access Centre. The Ottawa Hospital and Queensway-Carleton Hospital are the two hospitals involved in this one-year project. Besides providing more appropriate care for patients, it is expected that this project will also free up hospital beds for new acute care patients. "We've needed a service like this for some time in this community. It is a more appropriate and caring way to meet the needs of patients in the post- acute phase of their illness. There is no doubt that this will improve patient satisfaction with the region's health system," said Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital. The supportive care project is the result of a new partnership between the Ottawa CCAC and five Ottawa hospitals - The Ottawa Hospital, Queensway- Carleton Hospital, Montfort Hospital, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and Royal Ottawa Hospital. "I want to congratulate the Ottawa CCAC and the hospitals for entering into this new collaborative partnership that will improve services for Ottawa area residents," said Clement, who witnessed the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding. "This supportive care project is the first of many initiatives that will result from this innovative partnership." Overall, the government provides $1.19 billion in funding to all the CCACs, which represents an increase of more than 70 per cent in home care funding since 1995.