Toronto, Ontario (April 11, 2019) – Today, AdvantAge Ontario welcomed the 2019 Ontario Budget and the government’s renewed commitment to add much-needed capacity in long term care and home and community care.
“We support changes being proposed to the system so that health care is easier to navigate and more integrated for Ontario’s seniors,” said Lisa Levin, CEO of Advantage Ontario.
The Budget allocates $1.75 billion over the next five years to redevelop 15,000 existing long term care beds and add 15,000 new beds.
“This is a step in the right direction to alleviate wait times in long term care, which has been a key priority for AdvantAge Ontario and its members for many years,” added Levin. “This will help more people access the care they need in their community, close to family and friends.”
The Association will also be looking to see that the remaining 15,000 long term care beds slated for redevelopment by 2025 also receive government funding and support so that they can remain open.
The government has also committed to investing an additional $267 million in funding for home and community care. This includes long-awaited investments in assisted living services for seniors in supportive housing, home care, and community services. In addition, the province is developing a new strategy to improve the lives of seniors and provide supports and resources to help them live independently.
“We are pleased that government has responded to our calls for added services and supports to help seniors stay in their own homes for as long as they can. These critical investments along with new beds will help reduce the wait list for long term care and take the pressure off hospitals. But, most importantly, it will help ensure that seniors receive the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting,” said Levin.
To ensure the new long term care beds successfully open and more home and community care can be provided, AdvantAge Ontario is urging the government to work with the sector to develop a long-term, integrated health human resource strategy that considers the challenges facing seniors in all care settings.
“The health care sector is in the depths of a staffing crisis. Long term care homes and home and community service providers cannot find enough staff like personal support workers (PSWs) and nurses. We are committed to working with the government and our sector partners to improve the health workforce as quickly as possible for current long term care residents and for those we hope to serve in these new beds,” added Levin. “It’s time to get back to basics – people to provide care and places to provide it. We are confident this government can get us there.”
To this end, the Association is very encouraged by the Budget commitment to seek to include personal support workers (PSWs) as one of the occupations eligible for the government’s Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream.
“We called for interim strategies like this as we work with government on longer-term solutions, so this is good news. We are very hopeful that this will help our sector to recruit and employ foreign PSWs,” said Levin.
AdvantAge Ontario also commends the investment of $4 billion in federal and provincial funding for the housing sector over the next nine years.
AdvantAge Ontario is the trusted voice for senior care. We are community-based, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to supporting the best possible aging experience.
– 30 –
For more information, contact:
Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs