Government of Canada Invests more than $3.1 million to Support Canadians Living and Working in Long-Term Care in the Northwest Territories
August 12, 2021 | Ottawa, Ontario | 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 and readiness assessments.
Today the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an agreement with the Northwest Territories (NWT) to provide it with more than $3.1 million for Safe Long-term Care. This funding is supporting the procurement of additional mobile equipment (i.e. diagnostic and therapeutic modalities) and resident transfer and handling devices to reduce the risk of transmission when equipment is moved from room to room. The funding is also supporting the hiring of an Infection Prevention and Control coordinator to develop and standardize infection prevention and control policies and procedures across all NWT facilities providing long-term care. Additional practical nurses and residential care aides have also been hired to meet increased needs due to COVID.
"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 the Northwest Territories 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
"Those living in long-term care deserve a safe environment where they are treated with dignity and respect. Today's investment will strengthen infection prevention, staffing and infrastructure in long-term care homes in the Northwest Territories. By working together with provinces and territories, the Government of Canada is strengthening seniors' quality of life."
The Honourable Deb Schulte
Canada's Minister of Seniors
"COVID-19 has shown our country exactly where we fall short in protecting the most vulnerable in our society. The Northwest Territories is looking forward to working with the federal government through this Safe Long-term Care Fund agreement, because to do better for our seniors, we know we have to work together."
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories
"When the pandemic began, those living in long term care facilities were among those at highest risk of getting COVID-19. Today, with the federal funding received and the additional precautions that have been implemented, these facilities are one of the safest places to live in the NWT. This funding announcement highlights the collaborative work that is being done between our governments to ensure that we are meeting our commitment to protect residents from COVID-19."
The Honourable Julie Green
Minister of Health and Social Services, Minister Responsible for Seniors
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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