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News release

Proceedings from the National Conference on Home and Community Care Released Today

Ottawa -- Proceedings from the National Conference on Home and Community Care were made public today by conference co-hosts Allan Rock, federal Health Minister, and Dr. Jim Smith, Nova Scotia Minister of Health. Minister Rock also announced funding, under the Health Transition Fund, of two national projects focussing on home care.

"These proceedings provide an important contribution to the dialogue regarding home and community care that took place at the conference last March. This document will be useful not only among conference participants, but among all Canadians engaged in this key part of the health care system," Mr. Rock noted.

"Nova Scotia remains committed to building a comprehensive, sustainable home care program to meet the changing needs of Nova Scotians and the health care system," says Health Minister Jim Smith. "Bringing together volunteers, families, formal and informal caregivers and government policy makers and many others was an important step to take to encourage an ongoing national dialogue on such an important health care issue as home care."

The ministers recognized the importance that conference participants placed on the development of home care programs and noted that major system changes such as this cannot proceed without federal/provincial/territorial government collaboration. They also reiterated the view of participants that it will be important to ensure that decision-makers have evidence about what services and delivery mechanisms would best meet the home care needs of Canadians in a sustainable manner.

"Home care is an integral part of the health care system and as such, it must be based on sound foundations," said Mr. Rock. "Innovative projects are vital to the federal government's efforts to renew and modernize Canada's health care system and the two projects we are supporting will help to foster Canadians' access to the home care they need."

The project National Evaluation of the Cost-Effectiveness of Home Care will examine under what circumstances home care is a cost-effective alternative to acute care in hospitals and to long-term care in residential facilities. It consists of several component studies that will be carried out by academics and researchers in a number of sites across the country.

The First Nations and Inuit Home Care project will test elements of a home care program in First Nations and Inuit communities. Using five pilot sites, the project will help identify the essential elements of a home care program for on-reserve First Nations and the Inuit.

The two national projects total $2.9 million over two years.

In addition to the projects announced today, proposals in the area of home care have been submitted for consideration under the second round of national projects of the Health Transition Fund.

"As health care reform progresses across the country, we must ensure that we have a clear understanding of the cost-effectiveness of home care, on which to base our decisions. We must also look at the significant and unique needs of Aboriginal peoples," noted Mr. Rock.

The Health Transition Fund was established by the federal government in 1997 in response to a recommendation by the National Forum on Health. It is designed to generate information and evidence on the organization, funding and delivery of health services in four priority areas home care, pharmacare, primary care and integrated service delivery.

Results of projects will be shared among all provinces and territories. The fund provides $30 million to national level projects and $120 million to provincial and territorial projects on a per capita basis.

Announcements about other national, provincial and territorial projects will be forthcoming.

Project summaries are attached.

Copies of the proceedings of the National Conference on Home Care can be obtained from:

Publications - Health Canada
Brooke Claxton Building
Address Locator 0913A
Ottawa, Ontario, KlA OK9
Tel: (613) 954-5995
Fax: (613) 941-5366.

Media Inquiries:

Derek Kent
Sue McKeag
Office of Allan Rock
Nova Scotia Department of Health
(613) 957-1515

Public Inquiries:

(613) 957-2991

Health Canada

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