Ontario’s paramedics will start making home visits to seniors and the chronically ill under a $6 million expansion of Ontario’s paramedicine programs.
Health Minister Deb Matthews said this proactive approach will
* improve care to these vulnerable groups
* dramatically reduce the number of 911 calls
* reduce unnecessary emergency room admissions
* prevent premature admission to long term care facilities.
This program will
* schedule home visits for seniors that have a history of making frequent emergency calls.
* provide education programs for seniors to learn about their chronic diseases and how to better manage them.
* inform patients on how to connect with local support groups specified to their conditions.
* refer patients to their local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) to ensure they are provided with the necessary home care services.
Matthews said paramedicine programs currently focus primarily on emergency situations but she believes their services can be helpful for home care as well.
CP24 has reported that the initiation of this program in Toronto has already reduced the number of 9-1-1 calls by 50 per cent.
There are currently 13 community paramedicine programs in the province of Ontario, and the Ministry of Health has released plans to add 10 more.
Norm Gale, president of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs, believes there is no doubt that this program will help expand health care training in Ontario and improve health care services for all patients, families and communities, CP24 reports.