Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McGuinty government halts bidding process for home care contracts across the province

Minister acts out of concern for loss of continuity of patient care

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is halting the
competitive bidding process for home care contracts across the province in
order to ensure that Ontarians receiving home services continue to receive the
highest quality of care.
"I work for patients and I am not going to put their relationships with
health care workers at risk," said George Smitherman, Ontario's Minister of
Health and Long Term Care.
A January 28 memo from the ministry to board chairs and executive
directors of Ontario's Community Care Access Centres asks all centres to
cancel bidding processes now underway for nursing, personal support,
homemaking and therapy services and to not restart such processes.
"To ensure there is no uncertainty, existing contracts will be extended,"
said Smitherman. "All processes for other contracts are being halted. In the
meantime, we have a fair bit of policy work to do. And my focus is on
maintaining the quality of services currently being provided."
Last week, Smitherman stopped the awarding of the home care services
contract in Hamilton and surrounding areas, which was the only community where
the awarding of a contract was imminent.
The January 28 memo further tells CCACs that the government is reviewing
the bidding process and related policies and procedures to "ensure they
support the principles of putting the client first, continuity of care and
stability for health care workers to ensure Ontarians receive the highest
quality home care services possible." It also states that further details will
be provided in the near future.

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