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Provincial investment into long-term care means more beds sooner

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2020-11-18

Pembroke – Investments by the provincial government into long-term-care which were announced this year are bringing almost $18 million into three homes in the county. 

This is news to be celebrated for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski, who has been part of the individual funding announcements earlier this summer and fall. 

“This is all under the new funding formula plus the long-term funding per bed,” he explained. 

The province is investing a total of $17,833,834 in the riding with dollars going to Marianhill in Pembroke, the Grove in Arnprior and Valley Manor in Barry’s Bay. It is all part of $761 million plan by the province to build and renovate 74 long-term care homes across the province. Mr. Yakabuski clarified this is possible because of the new funding formula.

“This is additional funding they would not have received under the previous funding formula,” he said. “These dollars are new funding.”

Although the individual announcements had been made earlier this year, the recent announcement provided a re-cap of what is coming into the riding for the three homes. The additional funding is part of the province’s new funding model that helps break down historic barriers and accelerates the construction of urgently needed long-term care projects, providing seniors with the quality care they deserve.

As part of this new funding, Marianhill is receiving $9,075,109, helping them build 29 new spaces and upgrade 131 spaces. The Grove in Arnprior is receiving $4,334,048, helping them build 36 new spaces and upgrade 60 spaces. Valley Manor is $4,424,677, helping them build six new spaces and upgrade 90 spaces.

“Our government has been taking historic steps to improve the quality of life for our loved ones by adding capacity and upgrading Ontario’s long-term care homes,” said Ontario Minister of Long-Term-Care Merrilee Fullerton. “We introduced the modernized funding model to build and renovate these homes faster, and we’re already seeing results, with thousands of new, safe, and comfortable spaces in progress.”

Mr. Yakabuski said this is important funding for his riding. The population in the riding is aging and there are long wait lists for long-term care. 

“The number of people in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke who will need long-term care is expected to increase significantly over the next decade,” he said. “The work underway here will make sure that our loved ones will have a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need, when they need it.”

According to a release from the province, the modernized funding model is helping the government deliver on its commitment to create 30,000 beds over 10 years. The new model moves away from a one-size-fits-all approach, and instead, provides tailored incentives to address the needs of developers in different markets: rural, mid-size, urban, and large urban. It also introduces an up-front development grant to address high cost barriers to construction. 

A release from the province added Ontario is working together with long-term care partners to use innovative ideas and modern solutions to help end hallway health care and increase long-term care capacity in communities across the province. The government is also driving the development of new long-term care spaces by selling surplus lands with the requirement that long-term care homes be built on portions of the properties, and through the Accelerated Build pilot program, which is adding 1,280 spaces in a matter of months, not years.

Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader

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