Government of Canada Invests More than $3 Million to Support Canadians Living in Elders Homes in Nunavut
June 28, 2022 | Iqaluit, Nunavut | Health Canada
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must address the existing challenges that were made worse for many people in Canada, including those living in long-term care (LTC) homes. Over the last two years, 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. We know that these challenges remain and as a government, we must continue to do more to ensure all seniors get the quality care they deserve.
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced the signing of the Safe Long-Term Care Fund (SLTCF) agreement with Nunavut. Through this agreement, Nunavut is receiving more than $3 million from the $1 billion investment made in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement (FES).
Since its introduction in FES 2020, the SLTCF has helped provinces and territories to improve infection prevention and control in LTC homes across the country. Nunavut, with this investment, has built on existing projects in Elders Homes to further support:
- overtime pay for health care aides and hiring additional staff;
- ensuring an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for staff and visitors; and
- enhancing infection prevention and control through new air purification units, handwashing stations and the use of infection resistant materials.
Our government will continue to work collaboratively with provinces and territories to drive positive healthcare outcomes for Canadians. That is why in March 2022, we announced an investment of $2 billion to help our provincial and territorial partners significantly reduce the backlog of surgeries delayed because of COVID-19. This investment is part of a broader list of priority areas in health care, which are:
- Reduce backlogs and support our health care workers;
- Enhance access to family health services
- Improve mental health and substance use services;
- Help Canadians age with dignity, closer to home; and
- Use health data and digital health more effectively.
By focusing on these areas, we will help ensure that our health care system is better suited to keeping everyone healthy and safe, including seniors living in LTC homes.
"Canadians should have access to safe and quality health care that works for all. Today's agreement with Nunavut will help address the challenges affecting Elders Homes to ensure that all seniors are treated with dignity and receive appropriate care. By working with all provinces and territories to strengthen our health care system, our government will continue to be there for seniors in Nunavut, and everywhere in Canada."
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Canada's Minister of Health
"This $3 million in funding toward safe long-term care in Nunavut will help the Department of Health enhance its ability to prevent and control infections and the spread of viruses in our Elders homes. Through the installation of additional diagnostic equipment, commercial-grade HEPA air cleaners, and antimicrobial resident-room furniture, we are reducing the risk of transmitting harmful viruses such as COVID-19. The Government of Nunavut thanks the Government of Canada for this funding, which will help protect our Elders in care.
The Honourable John Main
Nunavut's Minister of Health
- To ensure transparency for people in Canada 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 in LTC identified during the pandemic:
- By investing $740 million in the Safe Restart Agreement, providing funding to provinces and territories to support vulnerable populations, including addressing the immediate needs in 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 $10.7 million to Healthcare Excellence Canada to support LTC homes across the country through the LTC+ initiative. More than 1,500 facilities are participating in the program.
- Budget 2021 also included a $3 billion investment over five years, starting in
2022-23, to support provinces and territories in their efforts to ensure standards for LTC are applied and permanent changes are made. This new funding is available to help provinces and territories strengthen compliance and enforcement activities and support workforce stability, including through wage top ups and improvements to workplace conditions (e.g., staff to patient ratios, hours of work).
- Budget 2022 reiterated a commitment from the federal government to work with PTs on priorities that result in better health outcomes and are focused on the priorities of Canadians, including long-term, home and community care. Budget 2022 also proposed the creation of an expert panel, which will report to the Minister of Seniors and the Minister of Health to study the idea of an Aging at Home Benefit.
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
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