Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod and Ontario Minister of Long Term Care Stan Cho were at the Royal Ottawa Hospital Jan. 8 to announce that the Ontario government is investing an additional $15 million this year through the Local Priorities Fund to invest a total of $35 million in 2023-24, to help long-term care homes support residents with complex needs like dementia and bariatric care.
The funding will ensure residents can connect to the right care in the right place and help reduce avoidable emergency department visits and hospital stays.
“Our government is continuing to take action to ensure long-term care residents across Ontario get the right care in the right place,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This funding will expand specialized staffing, equipment and other services at homes across the province so that long-term care residents with complex needs can get the care they need, when and where they need it.”
Launched in 2022, the Local Priorities Fund invested $20 million in 2022-23 to help long-term care homes purchase specialized equipment and train staff to provide more specialized care, so that more homes can welcome residents who have complex needs but no longer require acute care in hospital. The fund also helped current residents avoid hospital admissions who have new, or increasingly complex medical or specialized equipment needs which could not be previously accommodated in their long-term care home.
“Long-term care continues to be a pressing matter in all parts of Ottawa and more choices and options are critical to quality care in our city,” said Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod. “I’m so pleased to see our government continue to make investments to improve the system while ensuring quality of care.”
The ministry is currently working with Ontario Health to review this year’s proposals and successful applicants will begin to be notified and receive their additional funding in the coming weeks.
The Local Priorities Fund is part of a broader investment of over $120 million in 2022-23 and complements the recently launched Equipment and Training Fund, which helps long-term care homes purchase more diagnostic equipment and train staff to better manage and treat residents’ conditions that often lead to preventable hospital visits, such as urinary tract infections, falls, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
“The Ontario government’s investment will enhance the services provided to our long-term care residents,” said Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari. “Providing trained staff who will deliver an improved level of care and diversified health services will help address the needs at Royal Ottawa Place and throughout the capital region.”
Through a $6.4 billion investment, the government is building more than 30,000 net new long-term care beds in Ontario by 2028 and upgrading more than 28,000 older beds to modern design standards.
The Ontario government is providing up to $1.25 billion this year to long-term care homes to hire and retain thousands more long-term care staff. This is part of the government’s historic four-year commitment of up to $4.9 billion to increase the provincewide average direct care time provided to residents to four hours per day by March 31, 2025.
Featured photo – Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod and Long-Term Care Minister Stan Cho were among the politicians and community leaders in Ottawa for the Jan. 8 announcement (X photo @macleodlisa)