Government of Canada Invests close to $134 million to Support Canadians Living and Working in Long-Term Care in British Columbia
August 13, 2021 | Burnaby, British Columbia | Health Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted long-standing challenges in Canada's long-term care (LTC) facilities. Gaps have been exposed in infection prevention and control, staffing and infrastructure, with tragic effects on residents, their families and those working in these settings.
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 to help provinces and territories to improve infection prevention and control in long-term care, such as hiring additional staff and wage top-ups, new or renovated infrastructure including ventilation, and readiness assessments.
Today, Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.), on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an agreement with British Columbia to provide it with close to $134 million for Safe Long-term Care. This funding will support the improvement of infection prevention and control in British Columbia's facilities that deliver long-term care by:
- Creating additional single-bed LTC rooms;
- Improving ventilation and air quality;
- Investing in mattresses and bed frames to help reduce wound pressure injuries and infections;
- Introducing easily cleaned furniture and fixtures to reduce the spread of disease; and
- Investing in cleaning, food services and medical supplies to reduce health risks.
"We owe it to those who were affected by the tragedies experienced because of COVID-19 to act and improve things, and today's funding to British Columbia reflects our commitment to make sure everyone living in long-term care receives safe, quality care and is treated with dignity."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Canada's Minister of Health
"Seniors in long-term care should have a safe environment where they are treated with respect and dignity. Through investments in infrastructure and services, we're strengthening the safety of long-term care homes in BC. By partnering with provinces and territories, the Government of Canada is improving seniors' quality of life."
The Honourable Deb Schulte
Canada's Minister of Seniors
"British Columbia seniors deserve to live out their lives as comfortably and safely as possible. We owe it to them to ensure that we have the proper supports in place to allow them to do just that. This agreement is the next step in providing first class care to those living in long-term care facilities, and to help those working in them to feel safe as well."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.)
"The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all, especially those living and working in long-term care and assisted living homes. This funding for long-term care will help protect our seniors and support the people caring for them. It adds to our commitment to improving care for people in long-term care, both now and in the future."
The Honourable Adrian Dix
Minister of Health for British Columbia
To ensure transparency for Canadians on the funding provided through the Safe Long-term Care Fund, provinces and territories will develop and publish action plans that list their specific investments and performance metrics.
In addition to the Safe Long-term Care Fund, 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 $9.6 million to Healthcare Excellence Canada to support LTC facilities across the country through the LTC+ initiative. More than 1,500 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
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