Bulletin Number
        September 2, 1999
Direct inquiries to
         Ministry of Health
         Processing Office

(address below)
        Physicians, Hospitals, Clinics, and Laboratories
Subject      Hospital Stay and Home Visit
As part of the government's ongoing plan to invest in nursing services and to improve access to quality nursing care for newborn children and their mothers, funding for a post-delivery hospital stay and follow-up home visit is being provided to all Ontario hospitals and to the existing Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program.

The Ministry is providing funding to hospitals to allow all new mothers the option of staying in hospital for up to 60 hours after a normal birth for assessment, support and follow-up purposes. Women with difficult births or with complications may require longer stays for clinical reasons, others may choose to leave earlier. This program gives women some flexibility should they feel the need for remaining under hospital care for a few additional hours.

Following discharge, the Ministry will also provide funding to the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program for all new mothers to receive a telephone call within 48 hours of leaving the hospital with the offer of an in-home follow-up home visit. Public health nurses will provide these community-based services. These enhanced postpartum services will be collaboratively planned between the local area hospital and the Public Health Unit. For further information about these postpartum services, please contact your local Public Health Unit.

This new component is an addition to the existing Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) Program. This enhancement will promote the overall vision "to improve the well being and long term prospects of children". HBHC is a joint Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Ministry of Community and Social Services program and is delivered throughout the 37 health units province wide. HBHC currently provides for universal screening of newborns and offers information and support and services to families with children from the prenatal stage until age 6. Prenatal and early identification strategies are currently under development. For those families needing additional supports (high risk) the program provides home visiting by public health nurses and lay-home visitors. Service coordination is designated for each high risk family.

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