WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s auditor general says there are some serious problems with the province’s home-care system.
Norm Ricard says the audit found many people are waiting too long to get a first visit – on average the wait in Winnipeg is 37 days.
He says there are no targets or standards to guide health authorities, but adds it’s worth investigating if it takes longer than three weeks to start service.
Ricard says he’s concerned that 50 per cent of clients in our sample were not reassessed within 18 months of their initial assessment, even though policies in both regions require annual reassessment.
Ricard also notes the system is not ready for more demands on service as the population ages.
The province says it will implement all 28 recommendations and have a full plan in place by 2016 to address future concerns.
It also says the budget for home care has almost doubled over the past 15 years to $300 million.
“We are concerned that incomplete assessments may lead to care plans that ignore or overlook required services,” said Ricard. “Also of concern is that 50 per cent of clients in our sample were not reassessed within 18 months of their initial assessment…”
Health Minister Sharon Blady said Manitoba created home care.
“Our program is widely regarded as one of the best in North America and in order to ensure it remains accessible to all Manitobans who need it, we will continue to reject calls to base home care on one’s ability to pay.”