Oct 06, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Minister Rod Phillips has announced $270 M in funding for long term care homes, previously outlined in this year’s budget.

“It will support up to 4,000 new long term care staff across the province and to ensure these funds are only being spent on hiring much needed front line staff, ministry officials will audit the homes’ expenditures.”

This is part of the promised $4.9 B to hire more than 27,000 long-term care staff over four years for four daily hours of direct-care-per-day by 2025.

Phillips says the government will make four hours of care the law when he introduces legislation this fall.

Lisa Levin with AdvantAge Ontario calls today’s announcement “tremendous news and a watershed moment for long term care.”

SEIU Healthcare, the union representing over 60,000 frontline healthcare workers in Ontario issues this statemeent.

“Absent in today’s announcement is any action to improve the abhorrent conditions of work that exist within the walls of Ontario’s long-term care homes. The time to stop protecting the greedy interests of the big nursing home chains, who simply want more discretionary spending, should have ended long ago. It is inexcusable that families will have to wait four or five years to achieve better standards. Care can’t wait until 2025 for safe work and dignified long-term care.”

Meantime, Phillips was asked about a 22-year-old personal support workers who’s been charged with voyeurism for taking and distributing intimate photos of a vulnerable resident of a long term care home in Guelph.

“Of course the reports are very upsetting, it is a matter the police are dealing with and so as you can appreciate the right authorities are involved and we will cooperate in that regard.”

He was also asked to comment on another long term care, Copernicus Lodge in Toronto’s west end that’s losing 36 percent of its staff because they haven’t been vaccinated under the home’s mandatory rule.

“Copernicus and a handful of others had lower vaccination rates, under 70%, so they face a particular challenge,” said Phillips.

Phillips adds this is the exception, and that staff vaccination rate across Ontario nursing homes in 90 percent.

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