Matthews House funding request to be part of budget process
A request for municipal funding to help cover the rent on one of its
two new Matthews House hospice units at 21 and 23 Kingsmere Road, has
been referred to the 2014 New Tecumseth budget deliberations.
Frank Taylor, who with his wife Sally, established Matthews House in
2004, told councillors last night that while there is a donor covering
the rent on one of the two units, they would welcome any contributions
from the Town toward the $2,300 per month on the other home.
Mr. Taylor said the row houses, which combined provide four hospice
beds with round the clock palliative care, are "Intended for families
to treat as their
home for the length of time that their loved one is in residence with
us. So they not only have the use of the bedrooms, but they get the use
of the entire house." They were opened last August.
Matthews House has been providing for a growing number of chronically
ill patients including Parkinson's, COPD, ALS, and Alzheimer's, as part
of the Ministry of Health's quest to move such cases out of hospitals
and into the community. They have 150 volunteers, 70 of whom are
trained for work in the residence. As well, paid nursing staff
providing 24 hour, seven days per week care.
Last year at Matthews House, he said, they provided service for almost
300 people in this community, which is a far cry from the 40 or so we
helped in that first year, 2004 so a great deal has changed as far as
Matthews House is concerned."
Mr. Taylor told council that each year they receive about $38,000 in
funding from Central LHIN, and the remainder comes from donations, and
fund raising events.
"Generally speaking, we don't count on funding unless it's guaranteed,"
said Mr. Taylor. "It's not a very business like way to run an
enterprise, but we run it on
faith. For nine years we've had the faith no matter what we needed,
would come, and in every year we've either met our budget targets, or
exceeded them. We know we're going to make some money from events, we
that there will be third party events. We picked up a lovely cheque
today (just over $6,000) from the smile cookie campaign from Tim
Hortons, and there's an
increasing number of those events. And we love them because we just
need to show up and take the cheque. And of course donations of all
Trouble with depending on those he said, "at the beginning of the year
we have no idea how much
they're going to be or where they're going to come from, so it does
represent a kind of daunting issue for us, but as I said, every
we've managed, and managed well."
Ward 8 councillor Jim Stone was prepared last night to commit $1 per
capita in New Tecumseth, which would be in the $30,000 range, and keep
it as an annual line item in the budget.
"That's not a lot to ask people of New Tecumseth," said Mr. Stone. "I
just feel we have
some responsibility in this area. We do support a (medical) clinic, and
spent a fair amount of money on doctor recruitment, and I think we
should also support your organization."
However, while there was support to move the matter to the budget
deliberations, Ward 2 councillor Jamie Smith, and Ward 3 councillor
Paul Whiteside said their conference call earlier in the day with
Central LHIN representatives - mainly to deal with the issue of
glaucoma surgery cap at Stevenson Memorial Hospital - touched on the
matter of hospice funding for Matthews House.
Mr. Smith said they learned that Central LHIN provides funding for two
10 hospice bed programs in York Region that do not yet exist.
"They are funding hospice at Southlake that hasn't been built," said
Mr. Taylor, "so we
have the irony of two 10 bed hospices that have been approved for
Central LHIN that do receive $90,000 a bed, and those beds will not
likely be a reality for at least two years."
Mr. Taylor noted that a year ago the Minister of Health told all 14
LHINs they must have
an end of life policy in place within a year. Central LHIN, like the
others, created a regional integrated hospice
palliative council which he sits on, "and it will be our job to
recommend to the LHIN
sometime before 2015 what the LHIN might do to implement a working plan
that would cover the region."
"I find this very concerning," said Mr. Smith, "you're asking us for
money, and I
understand that, but this is something that really should be paid by
the provincial health system."
Mr. Whiteside said he agreed that hospice funding should be "a
provincial responsibility and they're
negligent by not providing that."
"They (LHIN) tell us there's the 10 beds,
you're saying they're not built, they do have the funding, they assured
us today the funding is sitting there for those units, and it seems
very disgusting to me that in fact if those monies are sitting there,
and you have four hospice beds, that there isn't $360,000 available. I
mean that's just common sense," said Mr. Whiteside. "I know there have
been attempts before,
but would it be of any assistance tonight - yes you have one request
that you would like municipal funding, which of course would have to go
to our budget deliberations because of course we don't have any money
sitting aside at this time of year, - if we passed another resolution
almost demanding that the LHIN and Ministry of Health provide the
funding. They say your units aren't approved at this point in time, and
therefore aren't eligible for funding, but they are there, they are in
"I would welcome that kind of motion and letter, it can't do any harm,"
said Mr. Taylor. "But really what it's all about is the LHIN says it's
responsibility to provide the funding, and the Minister says that
funding has to come from the LHIN. So we are caught in the middle.
Funding for Southlake Hospice has gone to the CCAC (Community Care
Access Centres) to improve
palliative services in Central LHIN so the money isn't just sitting
there piling up. However, it is, and has been, curious to us how beds
that don't exist are funded and beds that do exist don't get funded."