Advertisement

Nova Scotia Tories release estimated $634 million plan for long-term care

Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston takes questions from reporters, Wednesday, June 24, 2020 outside the provincial legislature in Halifax.
Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston takes questions from reporters, Wednesday, June 24, 2020 outside the provincial legislature in Halifax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Keith Doucette.

Nova Scotia’s Opposition Progressive Conservatives have released an estimated $634-million plan aimed at improving the province’s long-term care sector.

Leader Tim Houston says his party would immediately add 2,500 single-bed rooms to the system, hire 2,000 nurses and continuing care assistants and establish a new option of incremental supportive living funding if it eventually forms government.

Houston says the COVID-19 pandemic has “shone a light” on the importance of single rooms for long-term care residents when it comes to infection control and to slowing the spread of illness within a facility.

Read more: NSGEU president says he’s not taking part in Northwood review, calls for public inquiry

Of Nova Scotia’s 64 deaths so far in the pandemic, 53 occurred at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax – an older facility lacking in single-occupancy rooms.

Story continues below advertisement

Houston says he’s also submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seeking federal support for a further 1,000 single-bed rooms.

The new Tory funding proposal would help seniors who require more assistance than can be provided by home care but who don’t have complex medical needs and can’t afford assisted living.

Read more: Nova Scotia reports no new coronavirus cases on Wednesday

So-called “supportive living” would establish assisted living choices for seniors, where they can continue to live in a comfortable home environment such as an apartment.

“To address the problems facing long-term care, there must be compassion and the will to change the status quo.” Houston said in a news release. “Caring for seniors is not something that you leave on auto-pilot.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2020.