10 Jun Media Release: Yarmouth Townhall Meeting on Changes to Homecare
Halifax, NS– The Nova Scotia Health Citizens’ Health Care Network is holding a town hall meeting in Yarmouth on the future home care and inviting local participation. The sixth of a series of 7 town-hall meetings kicks off at 6:30pm on Monday, June 15th at the Rodd Grand Yarmouth Hotel.
“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 Tracy d’Entremont, a home nurse; Jody Hanley, a home support worker; and James Hutt, Researcher and Coordinator of the Health Network. Bernadette MacDonald, Director of the Tri-County Women’s Centre will moderate the discussion. 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 Monday, June 15th
Rodd Grand Yarmouth Hotel, 417 Main Street,
For further information:
Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network