Restructuring home care in the 1990s: Geographical differentiation in Ontario, Canada
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Through exploring the geographically differentiated effects of restructuring on the work of home care practitioners, labor process change is found to be spatially specific. It is through examining the spatiallity of labor process change that the differential impacts of health care restructuring on human health care resources can be determined. This has implications for human health care resource availability and service provision, which is particularly an issue for medically under-serviced regions. The restructuring approach, together with regulation theory, is used in this paper as tools for exploring the effects of health care reform on the local labor process. Both quantitative and qualitative data collected from home care practitioners in Ontario (Canada) show that the general trends in labor process change (work transfer down the home care hierarchy, increased time constraints, and enhanced job stress) are being similarly experienced, while shedding light on specific local differences. Findings show two working life factors to be differently experienced across the size of the place in which practitioners live and work. Two representative localities provide a closer examination of local differences in labor process change via the examination of local service cultures, local institutional practices, and local practitioner advocacy. The two sites are Sault Ste. Marie, located in northern Ontario's medically under-serviced northern health region, and Guelph, found in the province's well-serviced southern region.
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