SIMCOE – One of the important planks in today’s budget was an investment to increase the hours of direct care for long-term care patients to an average of four hours per day.

Ontario’s Action Plan now sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.

The announcement, which was made earlier this week, will position Ontario as a leader among Canadian provinces in the provision of long-term care resident care.

“The Ontario government is increasing the hours of direct care for each long-term care resident to an average of 4 hours a day,” Barrett said, “Hard targets will be set over the next four years to achieve this standard by 2024-25.”

“I made a promise to long-term care residents, their families and their caregivers that we would deliver better care for our seniors,” said Premier Ford. “We are delivering on that promise and acting on the early recommendations of Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission. By increasing the hours of daily direct care for residents, we will improve their quality of life and ensure they are more comfortable and safe.”

This new commitment to improve quality of care includes:

  • Average daily direct care of four hours a day per resident. Direct hands-on care is provided by nurses or personal support workers to support individual clinical and personal care needs.
  • Hard targets set over the next four years to achieve this standard by 2024-25. Progress against these targets will be measured and reported regularly.
  • Unprecedented changes to educate and recruit the tens of thousands of new personal support workers, registered practical nurses and registered nurses that will be required. As part of the province’s COVID-19 Fall Preparedness Plan, the province is taking the first step by recruiting an additional 3,700 frontline workers for its health workforce.

The government will work in collaboration with its partners, including labour, education and training providers, as well as sector leaders, to deliver the significant changes to the long-term care sector required to deliver on its four hour per day commitment.

“Improving the quality of life and care for long-term care residents is at the centre of everything we do. And after decades of neglect by successive governments we will work with our partners and with leadership in the sector to transform how we care for our loved ones for generations to come,” said Minister Fullerton. “Although we will continue to make progress, these changes will not happen overnight, as we have to hire and train a great number of staff and build modern new facilities so our residents get the level of care they deserve.”

The increase in average daily hours of care builds on supports recently announced for long-term care, including investing $1.75 billion over five years to increase long-term care capacity and spaces for seniors, as well as the government’s commitment to build 30,000 new long-term care beds over 10 years. The government is also driving the development of new long-term care homes through the Accelerated Build Pilot Program, adding 1,280 beds by early 2022.

For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or toby.barrett@pc.ola.org