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ONTARIO JOBS πŸ§‘πŸ”ŽNewly Published Research Provides Further Evidence to Support Investment in Home and Community Care

Tuesday, 17 October 2023 04:12.PM

Research has just been published that provides further data to support investment in home and community care in Ontario.

A Good Investment: Expanding Capacity to Care for Older Adults in the Home and Community Care Sector Through Increased Personal Support Worker Wages, recently published in the Canadian Journal on Aging, uses Ontario as a case study to estimate the cost and capacity impacts of implementing equal wages between PSWs employed in the home and community care sector (HCC) and institutional long-term care (ILTC). Building on previously published research, Economic Evidence for Home and Community Care Investment: The Case for Ontario PSW Wage Parity, this new research demonstrates that the expected increase in HCC PSW retention due to equal wages across sectors for PSWs would create approximately 23.5 million care hours, the equivalent of providing care to an additional 160,000 people, reduce annual health system costs by approximately $6 billion, and provide an 88 per cent return on investment.

"This evidence reinforces the government's announced plans to invest more than $1 billion to help more Ontarians age in place," noted Deborah Simon, CEO of Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA). "While other investments are also needed, ensuring PSWs are compensated equitably across the health sector will help stabilize the home and community care sector while also delivering significant cost savings for the province."

This research outlines that even with equal wages between PSWs in HCC and ILTC, HCC would remain the least expensive care setting.

Further, equal wages would improve retention in HCC, with estimates indicating 1 in 5 HCC PSWs would be retained who have left the sector, in large part due to low wages. The delivery of millions of additional care hours would be possible with more PSWs.

"This research provides additional information that can be used to inform approaches to home care investment," added Deborah.

"A Good Investment describes a cost saving policy for addressing these challenges in the health care system while allowing Ontarians to receive publicly-funded care where and when they want it most," noted health economist Dr. Katherine Zagrodney, Senior Research Associate, Quantitative Lead at VHA Home HealthCare, who conducted the research for OCSA.

SOURCE: Ontario Community Support Association

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