Paid caregiver program presenting more problems than it solves

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says the Home Support Program, a paid family caregiver program announced in the House of Assembly yesterday, is not the solution the province’s families need.

“Last April in Estimates the Minister said that a paid family caregiving program was close to being finalized, with $6.1 million allotted for 2013 and $8.2 million for 2014. Now it won’t even be off the ground until next March,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“I ask the Minister why is the program so far behind schedule?”

Michael has asked previously about the impact on programs and services of the massive layoffs of government employees last spring.

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“The Minister said the complexity of developing a paid family caregiving program is highlighted by the fact that no other province has one,” she said before noting, “This is probably because provinces with mature, publicly-run home care programs have less need for such a program and have revealed problems with this model.

“I ask the Minister what barriers and drawbacks did she learn about from other jurisdictions?”

The NDP Leader, who is also her party’s Health Critic, says the minister’s stated plan to train existing staff at the health authorities to oversee the program is unrealistic.

“I ask the Minister how are these already overloaded professionals going to find the time to monitor new paid family caregiver homes when they are already stretched to the limit?” she asked.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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