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Réseau FADOQ welcomes the investments in care and services for seniors and caregivers announced in the provincial budget, but deplores the fact that two-thirds of this money is devoted to resources in institutions.
“We need to start the shift to home care and services now. That’s what seniors want. We sense a willingness from the government with the additional $785 million in home support. We will be watching closely when Minister Dubé’s reorganization plan is detailed,” says Gisèle Tassé-Goodman, president of Réseau FADOQ.
Despite investments in the health care workforce, the Québec government has not committed to the necessary change in the ratio of care professionals to patients. The word is not mentioned even once in the budget. Yet, this is an imperative objective if we are to provide more humane care to the population and avoid exhausting nursing staff.
Many aspects of the health care budget remain unclear. We hope they will be more precise in the plan to overhaul the health care system.
A short-term measure
The $500 for adults with incomes of $100,000 or less will help seniors limit the impact of inflation on their pocketbooks. However, Réseau FADOQ deplores the ad hoc nature of this measure. It would have been better to target measures that would help seniors with their recurring needs.
We had proposed the introduction of a subsidy (or coverage by the RAMQ) renewable every five years for people aged 65 and over with low incomes for the purchase of dentures, glasses or hearing aids, all of which are major expenses that can throw a personal budget off balance.
A cut that sends the wrong message
The government announced a $4 million funding cut to the Vulnerable Seniors Program.
This program of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux allows for the planning, advising, coordinating and supporting of policies or measures conducive to combating prejudice and ageism, and to promoting the participation, health and safety of seniors, from a perspective of intergenerational equity and respect for diversity.
Ageism, an issue that concerns us at Réseau FADOQ, must be fought. We feel that this funding cut sends the wrong message.
Réseau FADOQ nonetheless welcomes the investment of $14.4 million over five years to extend the complaint assistance and support centers. This is good news given the current housing environment.