We all know someone impacted by a chronic illness such as COPD, diabetes, obesity or arthritis.
Often this means repeated trips to the doctor’s office, emergency room or, worst case, nights in the hospital.
As a province, we are already spending at least $1 billion each and every year treating chronic conditions. But health outcomes are not improving and people are feeling shuffled through the system. It doesn’t have to be this way. We need to be a lot smarter about how we are spending our health care dollars.
My proposal: in-home care from a team of multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals for those with a chronic condition.
Imagine, a healthcare professional coming to the home and focusing on prevention and treatment. We can have this. And, I need to be honest, it’s not my idea. It’s already happening in small doses around the province.
The healthcare professionals that I have been meeting with are just saying, “do more of it!” They are asking me to take the INSPIRED program – which provides in home treatment and prevention supports for individuals living with COPD – and expand it.
I will. This program is incredibly successful. For every $1 invested into that program it saves the system $21.
This is a proven program that works and it can be scaled up to a provincial level and used as a model to treat other chronic diseases.
If we provide better support – at home – for Nova Scotians with chronic illness, we will free up significant space in our doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. That means more access to healthcare for more people.
And it wills save money.
Let’s do something to take the pressure off a system that’s suffocating.