Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews has had a fairly consistent narrative of late – health services should be delivered closer to home, or more specifically, in the home.
It’s been the justification for a lengthy freeze on hospital base budgets – now predictably frozen for the third year. The answer to every hospital cut is ‘don’t worry, it will be delivered in the community.”
If there is one interesting aspect of the 2014 provincial budget it’s this: the amount of money the Wynne government has allocated for home care is beginning to slip.
Last year’s budget promised a six per cent increase for home care. This year it is pegged at five per cent, or $270 million. The three year total for home care is forecast to be $750 million, which suggests a further slide in investment next year and the year after.