Ontario’s New Democrats have unveiled an eight-year, $9 Billion plan to overhaul the province’s long-term care system, including a commitment to: create 50,000 additional spaces, permanently boost wages for personal support workers, and make the entire system public and not-for-profit.
That would represent a 50 percent increase in Long Term Care funding over what is being spent now.
The NDP plan would open 50,000 long term care spaces and would eliminate for-profit homes. The phase-out of the for-profit sector would take place over eight years. No new for-profit contracts would be issued and operators would not be allowed to reduce beds during the phase-out period. The paper does not discuss compensation to the sector for their facilities. The NDP proposes creating 50,000 more spaces by building “small, modern, family-like homes” of six to 10 people, instead of what it describes as the “warehouses” and “institution-like facilities” that exist today. “In a small town, it could look like a typical family home. In bigger cities, it could look more like a neighbourhood of villas,” the party says.
Long term care workers would receive a permanent $5 wage increase and enough staff would be hired to ensure 4.1 hours of direct care per resident per day; implement “culturally responsive (and) inclusive” care; and introduce a new benefit program for family caregivers.
Finally, the party would re-institute comprehensive inspections of homes and create a “seniors’ advocate” position within the government. The NDP also says it would ensure all inspections are unannounced.
“We will create a new accountability system that ensures there are consequences for homes that fail the inspections process. We will increase penalties and revise the criteria for revoking licences.”