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Ontario announces funds to hire more than 4,000 long-term care workers this year

Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Ontario’s long-term care operators welcomed provincial funding announced Wednesday to hire more than 4,000 staff within a year but advocates and employees said more must be done to improve working conditions in the sector. Long-term Care Minister Rod Phillips said the province would put aside $270 million to hire 4,050 long-term care workers by the end of next March. It’s part of a previously announced plan by the Progressive Conservative government to hire more workers for the sector, with a goal of getting long-term care residents an average of four hours of direct care per day by 2025. “This investment will allow all homes to hire and retain the staff they need to increase daily direct care so that we can meet the annual goals set out in our staffing plan,” Phillips said at a press conference in Toronto.

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https://www.cp24.com/news/ontario-announces-funds-to-hire-more-than-4-000-long-term-care-workers-this-year-1.5613562

We need help: Home care in Ontario – the lynchpin of the health system – faces a staffing crisis

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Thousands of nurses have left jobs providing home care during the pandemic for better-paid work in public health, hospitals and long-term care homes. The result is a crisis that home care officials warn could jeopardize the province’s entire health system. “We need help. We are in a crisis,” said Sue VanderBent, CEO of Home Care Ontario, which represents most home care providers in Ontario. During the pandemic, money was poured into long-term care and hospitals to help retain and increase staffing. Many of those workers came from home care, which has received no additional support from the province during the pandemic, said VanderBent. Home care officials say it is not surprising workers are opting to go elsewhere where they can earn between $6 to $15 more an hour. But the funding in home care has not kept up. Home Care Ontario says additional funding is needed urgently to keep the crucial home care system running so hospitals can begin catching up on surgeries and people in need of care can get it.

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/we-need-help-home-care-in-ontario-the-lynchpin-of-the-health-system-faces-a-staffing-crisis

Province looking at toughening long-term care enforcement as part of revamp

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

The Ontario government is considering adding former police or security officers to its inspection teams and toughening enforcement as part of its plan to improve accountability in long-term care, according to sources. The province has signalled it will bring in legislative and other changes this fall to answer recommendations and calls to improve Ontario’s beleaguered long-term care system.

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https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/province-looking-at-toughening-long-term-care-enforcement-as-part-of-revamphttps://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/province-looking-at-toughening-long-term-care-enforcement-as-part-of-revamp

Last summer Ford promised air conditioning for long-term care home rooms. That hasn’t happened.

Long-Term Care Ministry says it’s working with sector to have ‘adequate cooling systems’ in place this summer

Samantha Beattie, CBC News

During a heat wave in July 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised to “rapidly” mandate air conditioning in all long-term care homes, including residents’ rooms. Nearly a year later, the province still hasn’t done that. Palliative care Dr. Amit Arya said it “makes no sense” that the province hasn’t mandated system-wide change, especially following scathing reports from the military and long-term care commission about the deplorable conditions in homes and dehydration and neglect of residents.

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https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/air-conditioning-long-term-care-1.6039532https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/air-conditioning-long-term-care-1.6039532

Three vaccinated long-term care residents die after contracting COVID-19 variant

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Three fully vaccinated residents of an Ottawa long-term care home have died of COVID-19 in recent weeks, the company that operates the long-term care home has confirmed. “We are saddened to confirm that three residents at Extendicare Medex recently passed away,” said Extendicare spokesperson Laura Gallant. Since the COVID-19 vaccination rollout began, deaths in long-term care homes have plummeted dramatically. The vast majority of long-term care residents across the province have received two doses. Research done by Public Health Ontario between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 17, 2021, found no so-called “breakthrough” deaths among people who had been fully vaccinated in Ontario. Breakthrough refers to infections after complete vaccination.

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/three-vaccinated-long-term-care-residents-die-after-contracting-covid-19-variant

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