Funding to help with buying new equipment, training and education for staff, etc.
The federal government is providing funding to help out long-term care homes in Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.
Ottawa is providing PEI with $6 million which will help LTC facilities in enhancing education and training for long-term care staff and establishing an infection prevention and control program within private sector facilities.
With that funding, PEI will also be able to replace aging and outdated equipment in LTC homes and upgrade infrastructure, including the installation of new ventilation systems and the conversion of double rooms to single rooms.
“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 Prince Edward Island reflects our commitment to make sure everyone living in long-term care receives safe, quality care and is treated with dignity,” said Patty Hajdu, Canada’s minister of health.
Meanwhile, Ottawa is spending more than $3.1 million to help the Northwest Territories in 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.
NWT will also use the fund to hire an Infection Prevention and Control coordinator who will develop and standardize infection prevention and control policies and procedures across all NWT facilities providing long-term care.
“COVID-19 has shown our country exactly where we fall short in protecting the most vulnerable in our society,” said Michael McLeod, member of parliament for Northwest Territories. “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.”
Both investments are part of the federal government’s $1 billion commitment 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.
The government has also announced similar investments for Nova Scotia under the commitment.
Previously, the federal government has also invested to address the gaps in the LTC program 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.
The government also provided 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. It also invested an additional $8.4 million to Healthcare Excellence Canada to support LTC facilities across the country through the LTC+ initiative. More than 1,000 facilities are participating in that program.
The federal government’s Budget 2021 also 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.