Ontario Long Term Care Minimum Standard Welcomed and Long Overdue
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Ontario Long Term Care Minimum Standard Welcomed and Long Overdue

The province announced it will also gradually increase its annual funding to the sector by $1.9 billion

Cambridge, ON—CLAC applauds Premier Doug Ford’s government for its commitment to increase daily hands-on care in Ontario’s long term care (LTC) facilities from 2.75 hours to 4 hours per resident per day. The province today announced that to achieve this commitment it will gradually increase its annual funding by $1.9 billion over four years, resulting in 27,000 more personal support workers (PSWs), registered practical nurses, and registered nurses.

“This is the commitment and solution that we have urgently needed for over a decade,” says Michael Reid, CLAC Ontario healthcare coordinator. “Once complete, this adjustment will greatly enhance the quality of care for residents and the quality of work for our front-line caregivers.”

Reid continues, “We recognize that there are still many challenges ahead. The most notable is the fact that this long overdue standard of care, phased in over a four-year period, won’t help front-line workers today who are burned out, understaffed, and in desperate need of help.

“We need to attract thousands of workers to join the field or return to the profession they left due to difficult working conditions. This will require a commitment to increase the number of full-time jobs relative to part-time positions, and a permanent and meaningful wage adjustment.”

In October, the province announced a temporary wage adjustment of $3 per hour for PSWs while signalling it recognizes the need for a more permanent fix. CLAC has called on the province to make this increase permanent for all front-line LTC workers and to eliminate the 1 percent annual increase cap put in place by Bill 124. 

In a recent online campaign conducted by CLAC, supporters sent over 3,000 letters to the provincial government in support of front-line healthcare workers. CLAC has also strongly endorsed the province’s recently announced plan to permit earn-as-you-learn experiential programs for PSWs, which will allow them to earn a wage while they acquire their credentials. 

CLAC believes that reducing the cost barrier for new LTC workers and making it easier for them to work while training will play a key role in meeting the staffing requirements created by the province’s new standard of care and its commitment to build 15,000 new LTC beds.

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