The federal government is investing more than $22 million to improve services for residents of long-term care homes in New Brunswick, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday during a visit to the northern town of Dalhousie, N.B.
The funding will come from the federal government’s Safe Long-Term Care Fund, and it will be used to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks at the care homes and to improve their mechanical systems.
“This will include hiring more staff and upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems,” Trudeau told a crowd gathered at the Dalhousie Golden Age Club.
“We know, especially on the staffing side, it has been an especially difficult two years as people have been overwhelmed with work, so much so that a lot of our front-line health-care workers have decided it was time to take retirement or early retirement,” Trudeau said.
“Conditions and quality of care are directly related to the work conditions for the people who choose to work on the front lines to support our most vulnerable. That’s where we need to continue to step up for them,” the prime minister added.
New Brunswick Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch told the gathering that long-term care homes play a key role in providing quality care for the province’s aging population. New Brunswick, he said, has a network of 546 long-term care facilities providing care to more than 11,600 residents.
“We are moving to make sure that they receive the care that they deserve,” Fitch said.
Trudeau said his government is working with all provinces and territories to ensure Canadians have access to health care, including in long-term care homes.