12/16/2014 09:30 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST

Consultant to look at procurement system for Nova Scotia home care

HALIFAX - A procurement consultant has been hired to look at how services are provided to Nova Scotia's home care system.

The Health Department says Gordon Kyle and Associates has been awarded the contract at a cost of $90,000.

Health Minister Leo Glavine says the government wants advice on how best to get competitive bids for $194 million worth of services that include personal and respite care, meal preparation and light housekeeping.

Glavine says the government wants to select the best service providers in order to provide efficient and flexible care.

The department says there were 24,800 home care clients in 2013-2014, an increase of 13 per cent over the two previous years, and the demand for services is expected to rise.

It says budgeted hourly rates for home support services currently range from $34.26 to $58.44, while nursing services are as high as $90.78 per hour.