This is an overview of the home care sector’s evolution in Canada, including current models and delivery structures, funding, eligibility criteria, and services provided. Cost escalations of the traditional healthcare system and a reduction in federal funding has driven health reform in Canada. This has been accompanied by a major but sporadic expansion of the home care sector across the country. For the home care sector to develop in a more rational, cost‐effective and client‐focused manner, the development of common standards, a common database and programme evaluation will be required. This will also be necessary for political, planning, and administrative officials to understand and justify the reallocation of resources from institutional to community health sectors. Addressing issues such as the impact of health reform, the role of the private sector, realignment of system incentives, and developing effective partnerships with hospitals is critical if home care is to be recognized as an essential, cost‐effective component in Canada’s healthcare system.
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