52-day wait for phone assessmentLysyk highlighted one case of a client in her 90s living alone in a retirement home who waited 52 days for a phone assessment for physiotherapy and personal support services — "well beyond the three-day timeline for initial contact assessments."
What the law saysThough by law, home-care clients can receive up to 90 hours of personal support services per month, care co-ordinators at the CCACs usually allow a maximum of 60 hours, Lysyk said. The CCACs, which determine home-care needs then contract private providers to deliver the services, are also not consistently conducting site visits to ensure those providers are complying with their contract requirements, Lysyk found. During the last fiscal year Ontario spent $2.5 billion to provide home care to 713,500 clients. The ministry changed the funding formula in 2012, but the CCACs are still receiving different levels of funding. Looking at Local Health Integration Networks, measuring performance largely through the effectiveness of hospitals, Lysyk found that none of the 14 LHINs has ever met all of the targets in 15 performance areas. One of the LHINs hadn't met its wait-time target for MRI scans in six out of eight years, while another hadn't met its hip-replacement wait-time target in seven of eight years, she said. "The ministry responded by relaxing targets for some LHINs, but keeping targets the same, or making them tougher for others," Lysyk said. In the long-term care sector, Lysyk found the ministry did complete comprehensive inspections of Ontario's 630 facilities and will continue to do so annually. But the backlog of critical incident and complaint inspections has doubled between December 2013 and March 2015, from 1,300 to 2,800, Lysyk said. The Health Ministry committed to addressing all of Lysyk's recommendations.
Also on HuffPost: