Government of Canada Invests More than $27 Million to Support Canadians Living in Long-Term Care in Nova Scotia
February 24, 2022 | Chester, Nova Scotia | Health Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted long-standing challenges in Canada’s long-term care (LTC) homes. We have seen gaps in infection prevention and control, staffing, and infrastructure, with tragic effects on residents, their families and those working in LTC homes.
To keep seniors safe and improve their quality of life, the 2020 Fall Economic Statement committed up to $1 billion through the Safe Long-Term Care Fund (SLTCF) to help provinces and territories undertake activities to improve infection prevention and control in long-term care. These activities include hiring additional staff, implementing wage top-ups, as well as purchasing or renovating infrastructure including ventilation, and doing readiness assessments.
Today, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, along with Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors, announced the signing of a SLTCF agreement with Nova Scotia. They were joined by the Honourable Barbara Adams, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Seniors and Long-term Care and the Honourable Michelle Thompson, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health and Wellness. Through this agreement, Nova Scotia is receiving more than $27 million, with work already underway, to take better care of and protect seniors in LTC homes.
With this investment, Nova Scotia has built on existing initiatives to improve infection prevention and control in long-term care homes by funding the following initiatives:
- Hiring of LTC assistants to help with activities related to infection prevention and control such as screening visitors and supporting visitation requirements;
- Developing an infection prevention and control program with a team of five Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) infection prevention and control clinicians along with support from the NSHA occupational health and safety team;
- Promoting the Infection Control designate role and providing funding for LTC homes to hire clinical nurses throughout the province to work in this role with NSHA’s infection prevention and control (IPAC) team;
- Increasing environmental supports to enhance infection prevention and control measures in LTC homes; and
- Distributing PPE supplies to long-term care facilities as part of the COVID-19 response.
As we work to keep seniors safe and improve their quality of life, the federal government will continue to work collaboratively with provinces and territories, while respecting their jurisdiction over health care, including long-term care.
"Seniors have built our country and they deserve a safe, comfortable and peaceful retirement. We are committed to continuing to work with provinces and territories to ensure they have the resources they need to protect all seniors living in long-term care. This agreement with Nova Scotia is another step on the road to ensuring that both staff and residents in long-term care have the safe environment and dignity they deserve."
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Canada's Minister of Health
"As a registered nurse, I saw first-hand the challenges faced by residents and staff in long-term care facilities early into the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment will help strengthen the safety of long-term care homes in Nova Scotia. Seniors in long-term care deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and this partnership with the provinces and territories is improving seniors' quality of life."
The Honourable Kamal Khera
Canada's Minister of Seniors
"Our government made a commitment to address the vulnerabilities in long-term care homes exposed by the pandemic, and to prioritize the health and safety of those living and working in long-term care, including right here in Nova Scotia. Today marks the next step in that commitment. I am proud that under this agreement, the federal government is providing $27 million dollars to Nova Scotia which is dedicated to the improvement of our long-term care system."
The Honourable Sean Fraser
Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova
"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on seniors here in Nova Scotia and across Canada, especially for those living in long-term care facilities. With this partnership between our federal and provincial governments, long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia will be able to make improvements to their infrastructure and infection prevention to ensure better safety of their residents and staff."
Parliamentary Secretary to Canada's Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour
"This investment is helping us continue to protect the most vulnerable Nova Scotians from COVID-19, through enhanced infection prevention and control measures and supports, additional staff, and more PPE supplies. These enhancements are benefiting long-term care residents now and into the future. We will continue to work with the federal government to find solutions for our healthcare system and ensure seniors have the dignity and quality of care they have a right to expect."
The Honourable Barbara Adams
Nova Scotia's Minister of Seniors and Long-term Care
"We have a long road ahead of us to rebuilding our healthcare system, but it starts with investments like those we've been able to make under this agreement. These investments demonstrate the shared commitment of the province and the federal government to improving the health of our citizens, the safety of those working in healthcare and to doing better for those living in long-term care."
The Honourable Michelle Thompson
Nova Scotia's Minister of Health and Wellness
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 homes.
- By providing an additional $8.4 million to Healthcare Excellence Canada to support LTC homes 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 homes.
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
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