‘This is an important step to ensure high-quality care and service for our seniors’
New Brunswick is increasing the annual budget of nursing homes by $15 million to increase the hours of care staff are providing to their patients.
With the additional funding, the time of care will increase to 3.2 hours per resident per day in October 2021 and to 3.3 hours per resident per day in April 2022.
“This is the first increase of hours of care in nursing homes since 2008,” said Bruce Fitch, minister of social development. “Nursing home residents have greater needs today than in the past. Our network of nursing homes is now providing services to residents with more severe cognitive and physical needs.”
Previously, Manitoba’s $12 million budget led to the increase in hours of care to 2.8 hours in 2006 and to 3.1 hours in 2008. The current 70 licensed nursing homes across the province provide 4,925 nursing home beds and have over 7,300 workers, according to the government.
The 2021-22 budget also includes $12.4 million to fund wage increases for workers in the human service sector, including home support workers, community residence workers, special care home workers and family support workers.
“Thanks to this progressive budget, we are able to invest more in services for the most vulnerable members of our population,” said Fitch. “Staff in nursing homes, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and resident assistants will have more time to assist in the care of the residents. This is an important step to ensure high-quality care and service for our seniors.”
The department will also pursue the implementation of Phase 2 of the 2018-2023 Nursing Home Plan. The objective of the plan is to address two primary issues: aging infrastructure and the need for additional beds.
The plan included ten 60-bed procurements for nursing homes. Three homes are currently in the request for proposals process in Saint John, Moncton and the Acadian Peninsula for a total of 180 new beds. An additional procurement is also in process to replace an existing home in Shediac.
The department will also work with various associations, partners, and other government departments to promote the long-term care sector as a rewarding career opportunity, according to the government.