MONTREAL, June 27, 2022 /CNW/ - 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, accompanied by Emmanuel Dubourg, Member of Parliament for Bourassa, announced the signing of the Safe Long-Term Care Fund (SLTCF) agreement with Quebec. Through this agreement, Quebec is receiving more than $221 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. Quebec, with this investment, has built on existing projects in LTC homes to further support:
Sustaining infection prevention and control teams, as well as training for the internal team champions, who support these teams; and
The development of a centre for excellence in Quebec.
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.
"All Canadians should have access to the safe, quality health care they need and deserve, and furthermore, all seniors deserve to be treated with dignity and appropriate care, when and where they need it. Today's agreement with Quebec will help address the challenges affecting long-term care homes that have been made worse by the pandemic. Our government will continue to be there for seniors in Quebec, and everywhere in Canada, by working with all provinces and territories to strengthen our health care system."
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
"Seniors in long-term care homes deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and receive the best care possible. However, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed uncomfortable truths and gaps in how seniors are cared for in long-term care homes – a heartbreaking reality I witnessed on the frontlines of this pandemic as a registered nurse. The Safe Long-Term Care Fund will help Quebec provide increased support to seniors in long-term care by ensuring transparency and investing in improvements all while giving seniors the peace of mind of receiving safe and quality health care."
The Honourable Kamal Khera
Minister of Seniors
"The COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in how seniors are cared for in long-term care homes. Our government is committed to making improvements to the quality of life of seniors and ensuring that Canadians working in long-term care are treated with respect. With this investment, long-term care facilities in Quebec will have further opportunities to enhance the quality of long-term care across the province."
Member of Parliament, Bourassa
In addition to the SLTCF, the Government of Canada has also invested to address the gaps in LTC identified during the pandemic:
As well, Budget 2021 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 will be 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.
SOURCE Health Canada
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2022/27/c2286.html