Although all provinces and the territories offer home-care programs, Canada does not have a national home-care program, nor are public home-care services covered under the principles of the Canada Health Act. As a result, Canadians face varying eligibility, cost, quality and access issues to home-care services. Until recently , policy makers have had poor information upon which to make decisions about the role of home-care programs within the larger health-delivery system. This paper includes a review of the most recent policy relevant information about home care in Canada as well as descriptions of new models of home care in Canada and other countries. Mounting evidence of costeffectiveness, in combination with demographic, health delivery and technological changes, are bringing home care to the forefront of Canadian health policy. Other countries are moving forward to make home care an equitable and viable option within their health delivery systems. Canada could do the same by enacting national home-care legislation in partnership with the provinces.
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