Province responds to scathing report, says it’s ‘fixing long-term care’ in Ontario
Posted: December 4, 2021
(December 3, 2021)
Royal Rose Place in Welland, is one of the long-term care homes receiving government investment, cited in a report by the Ontario Health Coalition.
Facing criticism for investing in for-profit long-term care homes where residents lost their lives to COVID-19 outbreaks, Ontario’s Ministry of Long-Term Care responded, saying it is also building thousands of beds in non-profit and municipal facilities.
An Ontario Health Coalition report this week slammed the provincial government for investing in facilities across the province where thousands of residents died due to the virus, including a few in Niagara.
In response, the ministry’s team lead for issues and media Aslan Hart said 16,355 of the 36,079 beds it is allocating are in non-profit and municipal facilities, while the location of another 1,024 beds is still to be determined.
She said 18,700 beds are being allocated to for-profit facilities.
“Ontario is fixing long-term care so that every resident experiences the best possible quality of life, supported by safe, high-quality care,” Hart said in an email.
“We’re making historic investments to improve staffing and care — $4.9 billion over four years to increase hours of daily direct care for each long-term-care resident from 2.75 hours to an average of four hours per day.
“This investment will also help create more than 27,000 new jobs for personal support workers, registered nurses and registered practical nurses, and boost direct care time administered by allied health professionals like physiotherapists by 20 per cent.
“We’ve set hard targets to achieve this standard by March 2025, and will be measuring and reporting on our targets regularly.”
In addition, she said, the province introduced a new not-for-profit loan guarantee program to “unlock $388 million in lending from Infrastructure Ontario for not-for-profit long-term-care homes,” helping to expedite the construction of facilities.
“It will also reduce borrowing costs and has the potential to save not-for-profit long-term-care homes approximately $62 million.”
Meanwhile, she said, the province continues to look for opportunities to expand and clarify the rights of residents to receive visitors and the role of caregivers, in response to recommendations made by the Patient Ombudsman, as well as those made by the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission in its final report.