Government of Canada Invests $15 million to Support Canadians Living in Long-Term Care in Newfoundland and Labrador
August 6, 2021 St. John’s, Newfoundland Health Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted long-standing challenges in Canada’s long-term care (LTC) homes. Gaps have been exposed in infection prevention and control, staffing and infrastructure, with tragic effects on residents, their families and those working in LTC facilities.
That’s why, in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada committed up to $1 billion through the Safe Long-Term Care Fund (SLTCF), to help provinces and territories support infection prevention and control through making improvements to ventilation, hiring additional staff, and topping up wages.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, along with the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, the Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the signing of the first SLTCF agreement, with Newfoundland and Labrador.
Through this agreement, Newfoundland and Labrador will receive approximately $15 million to increase infection prevention and control in LTC facilities and seniors’ residences. With this funding, the Province will build on existing initiatives by hiring infection prevention and control specialists and a pandemic coordinator, as well as increase human resources capacity and make working environments safer. The funding will also help remediate aging infrastructure, like ventilation systems, introduce infection resistant surfaces and furnishings and purchase medical equipment like commodes and privacy drapes.
“The pandemic has shone a light on systemic issues affecting long-term care facilities across the country. The tragedies experienced because of COVID-19 must be met with action by all governments, and today’s funding to Newfoundland and Labrador reflects our commitment to make sure those living in long-term care receive safe, quality care and are treated with dignity.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Canada’s Minister of Health
“Canadians living and working in long-term care should have a safe environment where they are treated with respect and dignity. Today’s investment funds staffing and infrastructure upgrades to better protect people in long-term care in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Government of Canada is committed to working together in partnership with provinces and territories to improve seniors’ quality of life.”
The Honourable Deb Schulte
Canada’s Minister of Seniors
“Seniors in our Province deserve to live safely and with dignity. This $15 million agreement makes long-term care safer by increasing infection prevention measures and improving infrastructure like ventilation systems. This will improve the quality of life for seniors and keep their living environment safe.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
“Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are living in these facilities must receive quality, compassionate care. Today’s funding announcement is another example of the important work being done by the provincial and federal governments to ensure high quality health care and services across the province.”
The Honourable Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“We are committed to ensuring residents of long term care facilities receive high-quality care and are protected from infectious diseases such as Covid-19. This funding will assist in improving infrastructure and working environments to benefit all those living – and working – in our long term care facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
The Honourable Dr. John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services, Province of Newfoundland
- To ensure transparency for Canadians on the funding provided through the SLTCF, provinces and territories will develop and publish action plans that list their specific investments and performance metrics.
- In addition to the SLTCF, the Government of Canada has also invested to address the gaps identified during the pandemic:
- By investing $740 million in the Safe Restart Agreements to support provinces and territories in addressing the immediate needs within LTC.
- By providing up to $3 billion in federal funding to support provinces and territories to increase the wages of low-income essential workers, which could include front line workers in hospitals and LTC facilities.
- By providing an additional $8.4 million to Healthcare Excellence Canada to support LTC facilities across the country through the LTC+ initiative. More than 1,000 facilities are participating in the program.
- As well, Budget 2021 includes a $3 billion investment over five years, starting in 2022-23, to ensure that provinces and territories provide a high standard of care in their LTC facilities.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
Office of the Premier
Health and Community Services
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