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Submission to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly regarding Bill 175, Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020
The Alliance for Healthier Communities is the voice of a vibrant network of over 100 community-governed primary health care organizations, including Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, Nurse-Practitioner-Led Clinics and Community Family Health Teams. Members of the Alliance share a commitment to advancing health equity through the delivery of comprehensive primary health care.
The Alliance for Healthier Communities is pleased to see that with Bill 175, Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020, this government is working to modernize the home and community care sector, expanding a more person-centred approach based on client need. However, it is imperative that this modernization happens in conjunction with the transformations occurring in the health system, most notably through the lens of integrated care and Ontario Health Teams; as well as using the current landscape to shape the next steps.
In the months since this bill was first tabled, ensuring Ontarians can remain in their homes and in their communities to receive their care has become increasingly important. The home and community care and comprehensive primary health care sectors have been strongly focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring equitable access to care based on the needs of their clients. The Alliance echoes our partners at the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA)’s belief that the timing is not right to move forward with this legislation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a great impact on the health sector and has fundamentally changed how services are delivered. The passing of Bill 175 should be delayed until we are better able to better understand and incorporate key learnings from the pandemic response. This would enable open and transparent collaboration between the government, the home and community care sector, other key sectors such as primary care, and importantly with clients, families and caregivers, providers and front-line staff.