B.C. moving private home support services back into health authorities

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B.C. moving private home support services back into health authorities

Rob Shaw March 14, 2019

VICTORIA — The B.C. government is moving privately-run home support services back under health authorities in Metro Vancouver and southern Vancouver Island, largely ending the model of widespread private contracting.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said bringing home support back in-house into the health authorities will improve scheduling, provide more stable hours for staff and seniors, and make it easier to recruit much-needed staff as B.C. looks to accommodate the growing number of seniors.

Home care staff help people — mainly seniors — remain independent in their homes for as long as possible by visiting to assist them in getting dressed, preparing meals, bathing and providing other services. The rationale has been that by employing staff to visit people at home, the government provides better care for seniors, allows them to maintain their independence, and avoids the higher costs and health care complications that would arise if those seniors had to be admitted into hospital or care beds.

“This was a chopped-up mixed system,” Dix told Postmedia News. “The contracts weren’t working very well for anyone, but especially not for clients. So we’re making that change. I think it’s the practical change to make, because of what we’re doing with team-based care.”