Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

PARRY SOUND — Proactive or reactive?

Panacea or placebo?

What happened to home care you may have wondered.

Well, after doctors sheltered in place decades ago and a flawed public health practitioner program was left to pick up the pieces, community support for stay-at-homers fell mostly to private for-profit retirement and LTC homes.

Exhibit A: pandemic.

Now the province is turning to paramedics — after finally recognizing their fight for professional equivalency to physicians.

(Pharmacists aren’t far behind.)

So today’s second virtual announcement by MPP Norman Miller comes as no biggie.

He says the Ministry of Health is investing $2.9 million to expand the ‘Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care’ program in Parry Sound District.

Last week he did the same in Muskoka providing slightly more at $3.25 million.

A release says it will help more seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe while living in the comfort of their own homes for longer.

At its heart it will also allow paramedics to check in with patients who have been frequent users of their services to help them before they make that call to 911.

Boasted Miller: “This is great news for our seniors in communities all across Parry Sound District.

“Our seniors will benefit by being able to stay in their own homes longer, it will take some of the load off of their families and loved ones and some pressure off our hospital. This will be particularly helpful for the seniors in communities that are struggling to attract new doctors.”

Miller was joined Thursday by Parry Sound Mayor Jamie McGarvey. Along with a number of other local mayors.

As well as Clayton Harris Parry Sound’s CAO; Donald Sanderson, CEO of West Parry Sound Health Centre (hospital); Dave Thompson, director of emergency and protective services/Fire Chief; Frank May the manager of EMS Parry Sound District Emergency Medical Services; Deborah Randall Wood, chief nursing officer and director of patient and family centered care at WPSHC; and Katie Hogue, director of primary care/NP lead at the WPSHC rural nurse practitioner-led clinic.

“The Town and District are fortunate to have a strong relationship with the West Parry Sound Health Centre for the delivery of Land Ambulance and Community Paramedicine Services throughout the District,” said McGarvey.

The Community Paramedicine program is meant to merge the skills of community paramedics to help end hallway health care and provide additional care for seniors.

This is an expansion of the first phase of this program was announced in October with five communities.

“The community paramedicine program provides our seniors, their families and caregivers peace of mind while waiting for a long-term care space,” said Dr. Merrilee

Community Paramedicine programs can include:

  • Access to health services 24-7, through in-home and remote methods, such as online or virtual supports;
  • Non-emergency home visits and in-home testing procedures;
  • Ongoing monitoring of changing or escalating conditions to prevent or reduce emergency incidents;
  • Additional education about healthy living and managing chronic diseases; and
  • Connections for participants and their families to home care and community supports.
MPP Norm Miller made the virtual announcement from his office today, along with Parry Sound Mayor Jamie McGarvey and numerous other hospital and associated paramedicine health professionals.

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