March 19, 2021 (2 Minutes)
Yesterday the Ontario government announced its plans to invest $933 million in 80 new long-term care (LTC) projects.
The investment will add thousands of new and upgraded long-term care spaces across the province. This funding comes from the provincial government’s commitment to add 30,000 much-needed long-term care spaces over ten years.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, our Government has made it clear that we will do whatever it takes to protect our long-term care residents,” said Premier Doug Ford. “These historic investments will provide our seniors with the safe and modern living spaces they deserve, after decades of neglect and underinvestment by previous governments.”
Eliminating Hallway Medicine – The Domino Effect
Ever wonder why ambulances are continuously lined up at local hospitals? It is a domino effect. Paramedics have patients on their stretchers waiting for emergency beds to become available. The emergency beds are filled with patients waiting to be admitted to hospital beds in the various medicine wards. The hospital beds are filled with elderly patients waiting for available “alternate level care” (ALC) beds in the community (long-term care beds, rehabilitation beds, etc.). There are insufficient ALC beds in the community.
It is estimated 34,000 Ontarians are waiting to get into a long-term care home, straining the health care system and causing the domino effect. This is one of the contributing factors to hallway medicine.
However, with Brampton’s current and growing population, there is also an identifiable need for a new hospital, thereby increasing acute care access. Brampton City Council is united in their provincial advocacy for a new hospital in Brampton. Some Councillors are threatening to put the brakes on development until approval for a new hospital is received from the province.
The Brampton LTC Beds
In Brampton, local MPPs Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria (Brampton South) and Amarjot Sandhu (Brampton West) participated in the funding announcement. This included funding for:
- Upgrading 160 beds at the Tullamore Care Community project;
- Building 40 new beds to the Faith Manor Redevelopment project in addition to 120 beds being upgraded; and
- Allocating 128 new beds to the Revera Living project.
Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said the province’s 2021 budget, which will be tabled next week, “will build on our commitment to protect our seniors and provide the highest quality of care for loved ones when and where they need it.”
Yesterday’s announcement also committed to an average of four hours of direct care per day for residents in long-term care homes. The commitment to increased care is based on the “lessons learned” from the pandemic, which will include the phased elimination of three- and four-bed rooms.
The Ontario Long Term Care Association praised the new funding, saying overcrowding in long-term care facilities was “a root cause of the tragedy experienced through COVID-19.”
Overall, this is welcomed news for Brampton after the Covid-19 pandemic showed the increased need for investment in long-term care facilities. Ontario long-term care homes were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 3,752 resident deaths and 11 staff deaths reported to date.