This document was published under a previous government.

Ministry Reports

Caring For Our Aging Population and Addressing Alternate Level of Care - Dr. David Walker, Provincial ALC Lead

August 31, 2011

In January 2011, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care appointed Dr. Walker as the Provincial ALC Lead with the mandate to provide recommendations on strategies to address Ontario's ALC challenge.

Dr. Walker has completed his work and submitted his report, Caring for Our Aging Population and Addressing Alternate Level of Care (ALC), to the ministry.

The report acknowledges that our current health system challenge is not limited to those hospital patients whose needs could be better served in other care settings, but that the system needs to undergo a broader transformation in order to meet the care needs of an aging population.

The ministry would like to thank Dr. Walker for his work and for his advice and recommendations in this important area.

The ministry is reviewing Dr. Walker's report.

The ministry has already taken steps to implement initiatives and make investments that are in line with some of Dr. Walker's recommendations. Specifically:

Short-stay acute care beds: In May 2011, the government announced funding for 221 short stay acute care beds to help improve hospital patient flow and reduce the wait times for ER admitted patients.  

Community Investments: the ministry is providing the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) with targeted investments and resources to help support patient transition from hospitals to the right community services and to reduce reliance on long-term care homes for the care of frail elderly. 

  • Home First - Ontario's LHINs are moving forward with initiatives designed to support patients with home care and community services so they receive the right care in the most appropriate setting. 
  • Addressing the Needs of Long-Stay ALC Patients: Assessment Teams have been helping the LHINs with the highest number of ALC patients who have been waiting in hospitals for more than 30 days.

Behavioural Support Ontario (BSO) Project:  Through this initiative, the government is providing new funding to hire up to 700 new specially trained health care professionals and develop specialized community services to better care for seniors with behavioural issues.  

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