Letter of agreement to amend bilateral agreements for home and community care and mental health and addiction services
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
August 5, 2021
Dear Minister Hajdu,
As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for Canadians, and has disproportionately affected those residing in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and seniors’ residences. Outbreaks in these facilities have taken the lives of some of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens, and forever changed the lives of families and caregivers. To address this crisis, since spring 2020 the Province of Prince Edward Island has been working to improve the safety of care for those living in long-term care settings, and those who care for them, through a broad range of measures for enhanced infection prevention and control and supported by federal investments and resources, including most recently the $740M from the September 2020 Safe Restart Agreement funding.
Further to the Government of Canada’s commitment on November 30, 2020 to further support provinces and territories through a new Safe Long-term Care Fund, providing jurisdictions an additional $1 billion, Canada and Prince Edward Island agree, through this Letter of Agreement, to amend the Canada- Prince Edward Island Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Agreement (the Bilateral Agreement), in accordance with appendices A and B to this Letter, with the aim of further protecting Canadians who reside in these settings through increased infection prevention and control measures.
The amendments in Appendix A establish the terms and conditions that apply to the Safe Long-term Care funding and include the following:
- The Government of Canada will provide Prince Edward Island with total funding of up to $6.1 Million in fiscal year 2021-22 under the Safe Long-term Care Fund for eligible expenditures incurred from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.
- The federal funding through the Safe Long-term Care Fund will support Prince Edward Island to increase infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities. Priorities for initiatives supported by this funding will include retention measures for existing staff, including hiring of additional human resources; new infrastructure and renovations to existing infrastructure, such as ventilation, or self-isolation or single rooms; and, readiness assessments to prevent COVID-19 infections and spread.
- The funding will also support other infection protection and control efforts, including strengthened infection prevention and control measures and training for existing staff and additional inspectors and infection prevention and control specialists to support in-person inspections of all facilities.
- Prince Edward Island has attached an amended action plan (Appendix B) which includes: the background on long-term care in Prince Edward Island; efforts undertaken since spring 2020 to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in long-term care settings, and particularly efforts to enhance infection prevention and control, including activities supported by the Safe Restart Agreement funding; details on the new or enhanced initiatives that will be supported by the Safe Long-term Care Fund in the three priority and other eligible areas, along with a breakdown of planned expenditures; and performance measures to track progress (measures, targets and outcomes).
- As appropriate, Prince Edward Island will put in place cost-sharing agreements with any private for-profit facilities that benefit from the funding under the Safe Long-term Care Fund by December 1, 2021 to ensure that federal investments are used to further enhance the protection of residents and staff and to ensure transparency in the use of funds. Prince Edward Island will amend its action plan by December 1, 2021 to provide information with respect to those privately-owned for-profit facilities benefiting from the federal investments, including confirming that cost-recovery agreements are in place and the amount to be recovered.
- Prince Edward Island will amend its performance measurement section of the action plan by December 1, 2021 and will further update this section by March 31, 2022 to provide information on results, with a view to showcasing to Canadians the progress achieved to protect vulnerable Canadians in long-term care settings through its initiatives for increased infection prevention and control.
Appendix B to this Letter of Agreement sets out Prince Edward Island’s amendment to its action plan (Annex 2 to the Agreement) which provides information on the initiatives, expenditures, expected results and performance metrics on the initiatives supported by the Safe Long-term Care funding.
Except as set out in the appendices to this Letter of Agreement, the terms of the Bilateral Agreement will remain in effect.
This Letter of Agreement to amend the Bilateral Agreement will be effective upon both of our respective signatures and, as per the Agreement, will remain in effect until March 31, 2022, unless otherwise terminated by the parties to the Agreement. It, along with the updated Agreement and annexes, will be made public online by Health Canada.
The Honourable Ernie Hudson,
Prince Edward Island Minister of Health
August 7, 2021
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Federal
Minister of Health
August 10, 2021
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