Ontario budget promises support, new beds for long-term care

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Ontario Government is planning to eliminate “hallway healthcare” by adding and upgrading long-term care beds throughout the province.

This April, the PC government released its 2019 Ontario Budget with aims to create 15,000 new-long term beds and enhance an additional 15,000 long-term beds to meet modern design standards.

“Today, too many patients are kept in hospital while waiting for space in a long‐term care home,” the budget states. “The creation of 15,000 new long‐term care beds over the next five years will help the government address hallway health care and move patients to a more comfortable care setting.”

The initiative represents a total investment of approximately $1.75 billion over the next five years. What’s more, in addition to the over 6,000 new beds previously allocated, the government is moving forward immediately with the allocation of an additional 1,157 new long-term care beds through 16 projects across the province.

“Over the coming months, additional proposals for new long-term care beds will be evaluated and new beds will be allocated in locations where services are most needed now and will be in the future, and to projects that will offer specialized services to meet the complex needs of people who may be waiting in a hospital for more appropriate care,” the budget states.

Beyond increasing long-term care capacity, the Province will also be making it easier to locate land for new long-term care home developments. It will do so by reducing red tape and streamlining the processes to sell buildings and properties, making it easier to evaluate properties prior to sale to determine if they are appropriate for long-term care spaces.

“We appreciate the government for its commitment to invest in long-term care beds and funding for mental health, addictions, and housing,” said Ron Noble, CEO of the Catholic Health Association of Ontario. “These are significant commitments that will go a long way to prove the system and end hallway medicine.”

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