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Ontario to provide $673 million to long-term care homes to help with staffing

A visitor arrives at the Roberta Place Long Term Care home in Barrie, Ont. on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The Ontario government plans to provide $673 million to long-term care homes this year to help “hire and retain staff” across the province.

The government issued a press release on Tuesday, saying the money would help to hire and retain up to 10,000 staff members across the province and will lead to “more direct care for residents.”

“This is part of the province’s $4.9 billion commitment to hire more than 27,000 long-term care staff over four years and ensure that residents receive on average four hours of direct care per day by 2024-25.”

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According to the release, before the provincial investments, residents were receiving “an average of only two hours and 45 minutes of direct care from nurses and personal support workers.”

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The government says the next funding increase will push the daily average in the province to three hours and 15 minutes per resident, every day by the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Included in the funding is also $106.76 million for homes to increase the direct care provided by allied health care professionals who the government says are “key to ensuring quality care for residents (such as physiotherapists and social workers) by 10 per cent by the end of the fiscal year.”

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The provincial government said the $4.9 billion will be delivered over four years:

  • $270 million in 2021-22
  • $673 million in 2022-23
  • $1.25 billion in 2023-24
  • $1.82 billion in 2024-25

According to the release, the province’s plan to provide residents with four hours of direct care will be enshrined into law via the Fixing Long Term Care Act 2021, which received royal assent in Dec. 2021.

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Ontario’s long-term care homes were especially hard-hit during the pandemic.

Provincial data suggests that since April 24, 2020, a total of 36,778 COVID cases were reported at a long-term care home.

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