Mississauga, Ontario — Health Care providers and Peel Region community leaders expressed their frustration for the lack of family home health care funding from both federal and provincial governments. Voices from community members were also heard expressing their concerns about poor and inadequate health care funding for Aboriginal communities of Canada. Similar concerns were also brought by participants to the attention of incumbent and political candidates from three major parties.
The first Canadian Nurses Association’s (CNA) town hall panel consultation, named “Health is Where the Home Is” was held yesterday May 30 in Mississauga. CNA President Karina Velji introduced the speakers and community health care providers expert panelists. The health care panelists responded to CNA’s priorities and standards for home care-based healthy aging programs.
Panelists Anthony Milonas, COO at CB Health Group and Canadian Home Care Association boardmember, Estrella Mercurio, Care & Services Manager, Paramed Home Health Care – Toronto Central, and Sara Shearhami, co-founder of Family Caregiver Voice spoke about the problems faced by the their communities and the lack of support for family health care providers. They also expressed the need for Federal and provincial government agencies to increase funding for 4 million Canadians who receive home health care. “Sixty-three percent of Canada’s aging population are in need of home care in the coming years, “ according to one of the panelists.
An estimated 8.1 million provided home care to family or friends in 2011-2012. The estimated contribution to Canada’s health-care system in unpaid labor by family caregivers is in Billions.Peel Region community members urged candidates to address the urgent needs of the community and family care givers .
Mark Goldstein and Daria Mercer spoke about inadequate health care support for native communities. “There is a national health care crisis and tragedy being faced by Canada’s aboriginal communities.”
Political candidates from Mississauga-Streetsville namely, Brad Butt, Concervative MP , and Mississauga –Streetsville candidates Fayaz Karim, NDP, Gagan Sikand, LP and Cris Hill, Green Party answered questions from the panelists and community members. All candidates explained their party’s platform. While the incumbent MP Brad Butt said that the conservative government has done more to increase health care funding, the NDP’s Fayaz Karim remarked that it is time for the government to do more to help Canada’s aging population. “ The interests of all Canadians must come first before politics,” he added.
CNA believes that the Federal government can dramatically improve the lives of Canada’s seniors while working with other levels of government and with health care providers. CNA offers the following recommendations which, if acted upon, would make a meaningful difference to seniors. Among these are measures to establish standards across Canada for home health care to ensure all Canadians equitable access to care services that support them in healthy aging; increase support to Canadians who provide for aging relatives by making the existing Family Caregiver Tax Credit refundable; and expand the New Horizons for Seniors Program by incorporating a new objective to support healthy and active aging.