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January 29, 2003

Eves government supports new supportive care project in Ottawa

    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.