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Home care program expanded

Sun Country Health Region's home care program, that allows hospital and mental health patients to return to their homes sooner, will be expanded substantially in 2006.

In 2005-06, global funding from the Saskatchewan government to Sun Country Health Region for this initiative was $61,000. This amount will be annualized to $122,000 in the 2006-07 fiscal year for the enhancement of current home care services and the addition of a mental health home care component.

"This is an important initiative," said Cal Tant CEO/President Sun Country Health Region on Tuesday.

"We hope to achieve a decrease in re-admission rates to acute care facilities, promote earlier hospital discharge, prevent imminent admissions and enhance the partnership between Mental Health and Home Care services."

The plan is to enhance the quality of life and care for residents in the region," he says.

Each health region in the province submitted a plan to the Saskatchewan government, outlining the implementation process for this new initiative.

The additional funding will enhance the case management, nursing, personal care, home IV administration and palliative care services currently provided by home care.

In addition, fees for personal care services such as assistance with dressing, grooming, bathing, toileting, mobility assistance and medication assistance will be eliminated for up to 14 days for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for this short term acute home care initiative.

The health regions will continue to ensure palliative care clients are provided with pharmaceuticals and supplies to address their needs near end-of-life.

The new mental health home care component will also offer services at no charge for up to 14 days following discharge. These services include case management, professional and home support.

Crisis support is being developed and will be offered through the province's toll-free HealthLine.

Other enhancements to the acute mental health come care services are being implemented. 

This increased support meets a commitment made by Saskatchewan and other provinces and territories to institute a minimum set of home care services to be delivered across the country.

"Our government recognizes the value of the home care service," said Graham Addley, Minister of Healthy Living Services.

"These new enhancements will support our acute care system by helping people to return home sooner, and to provide quality support to people in their communities, thereby cutting down on the number of hospital admissions and re-admissions," he said.

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