10 Jun Valley Townhall Meeting on Changes to Home Care
The Nova Scotia Health Citizens’ Health Care Network is holding a town hall meeting in Kingston on the future home care and inviting local participation. The seventh and final of a series of 7 town-hall meetings kicks off at 6:30pm on Tuesday, June 16th at the Kingston Lions Club.
“The government has proposed privatizing home care with absolutely no consultation” said James Hutt, Provincial Coordinator of the Health Network. “We’ve launched this tour to bring people together to discuss how these changes will impact them and to think about what else the government should do to ensure patients get the care they need.”
The first half of the 2 hour event will focus on an interactive of panel, with perspectives from Tammy Woodland, a home nurse; Audrey Oliver, a home support worker; and James Hutt, Researcher and Coordinator of the Health Network. The second half will invite participants to share their own experiences and reflect on ways to improve home care.
Last December, Health Minister Leo Glavine announced plans to open home care to a competitive bidding process. A competitive bidding process awards home care contracts to the lowest bidder, and would allow for the introduction of for-profit corporations in all regions of the province. Currently, home support in Nova Scotia is almost exclusively provided by non-profit organizations. Only 5 for-profit companies deliver services, all of them in the Capital Health area.
The Health Network organized a province wide day of action last month, where supporters rallied in front of 9 MLA offices and called on the provincial government to protect home care. In response, the Continuing Care Branch of the Department of Health and Wellness announced that they would first look to collaborate with existing providers before contracting out, but that home care contracts may still need to be privatized in some or all regions of the province.
“How will introducing for-profit corporations affect patients? Will this change who’s entering patients homes, and will this improve or worsen our current shortage of health care workers?” said Hutt. “The evidence from other provinces isn’t good, so we want to get people talking about what it will mean for Nova Scotia”
The Future of home care:
6:30pm Tuesday, June 16th
Kingston Lions Club,
1482 Veterans Memoral Lane,
For further information:
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network
About the Nova Scotia Citizen’s Health Care Network
Formed in 1996, the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network’s goal is to stop the privatization of the public health care system, ensure high levels of care, and create a forum for people and communities to discuss issues in health care.
The Network is a coalition of local health committees, community groups, organized labour, faith groups, women’s organizations, students, and individuals dedicated to protecting and extending public health care to include services like pharmacare, dental care, long-term care, mental health care and home care.
The Network is political but non-partisan and receives no government funding.