Min­is­ters ex­plains govern­ment strat­egy


Health Min­is­ter Jerome Kennedy rolled out the pro­vin­cial govern­ment’s new strat­egy for the prov­ince’s cur­rent and fu­ture long-term care and com­mu­nity sup­port ser­vices in a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion at Car­bon­ear on Fri­day, Aug. 13.

Thir­teen peo­ple, rep­re­sent­ing var­ied per­sonal and pro­fes­sional in­ter­ests, at­tended the two-hour event, which was held at Fong’s Mo­tel.

“In­put from this con­sul­ta­tion process will help guide the devel­op­ment of a re­spon­sive and ef­fec­tive … strat­egy,” Kennedy said in his in­tro­duc­tory re­marks.

The min­is­ter fo­cused on the in­ten­tion of govern­ment to re­vi­tal­ize and strengthen the cur­rent sys­tem. This vi­sion will call for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of one that has an in­creased fo­cus on client-cen­tred ser­vice de­liv­ery, he said.

The re­vised strat­egy is a re­sponse to what Kennedy re­ferred to as “chal­lenges and po­ten­tial so­lu­tions in the sys­tem.” Kennedy out­lined the re­quired com­po­nents of ef­fec­tive long-term care and com­mu­nity sup­port ser­vices.

“(It) ad­dresses health and so­cial needs; op­ti­mizes rights and par­tic­i­pa­tion in de­ci­sion mak­ing; en­cour­ages choice, in­de­pen­dence and mo­bil­ity; and demon­strates stan­dards of qual­ity in all as­pects of ser­vice pro­vi­sion,” he ex­plained.

Two of those at­tend­ing the con­sul­ta­tion made for­mal pre­sen­ta­tions to the min­is­ter. Bev­erly Rus­sell spoke on be­half of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Qual­ity Liv­ing Al­liance for Se­niors. Adam Baker rep­re­sented the In­de­pen­dent Liv­ing Re­source Cen­tre. There were also im­promptu and in­for­mal pre­sen­ta­tions from other in­di­vid­u­als, who wished to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion about spe­cific mat­ters or ex­press ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the govern­ment’s cur­rent long-term care and com­mu­nity sup­port pro­grams.

Kennedy’s fi­nal re­marks high­lighted “the cre­ation of a sys­tem that is not overly re­liant on fa­cil­ity-based, long-term care.” In­stead, em­pha­sis is be­ing placed on the achieve­ment of “op­ti­mal in­de­pen­dence and qual­ity of life in … homes and com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

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