MARKHAM — The Ontario government will provide $673 million to long-term care homes this year to hire and retain up to 10,000 long-term care staff across the province, leading to more direct care for residents. This is part of the province’s $4.9 billion commitment to hire more than 27,000 long-term care staff over four years and ensure that residents receive on average four hours of direct care per day by 2024-25.
“Our government has a plan to fix long-term care and to ensure Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care they need and deserve,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “More staff means more daily care for residents.”
Prior to the government’s investments to increase direct care, residents were receiving an average of only two hours and 45 minutes of direct care from registered nurses, registered practical nurses and personal support workers. Direct care is hands-on care that includes personal care, such as help with eating, bathing and dressing, as well as other important tasks such as helping residents move and providing medication. This next funding increase will now increase the daily provincial average to three hours and 15 minutes, per resident per day by the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year. This funding also includes $106.76 million for homes to increase in direct care provided by allied health care professionals, who are key to ensuring quality care for residents (such as physiotherapists and social workers), by 10 per cent by the end of this fiscal year.
The government is investing $4.9 billion over four years to increase direct resident care to an average of four hours daily by hiring more than 27,000 staff. Hiring thousands of new staff at long-term care homes and increasing the amount of care they deliver each year will be made possible by annual funding increases to homes:
- $270 million in 2021-22
- $673 million in 2022-23
- $1.25 billion in 2023-24
- $1.82 billion in 2024-25
Ontario’s path to providing four hours of direct care per day by 2024-25 will be enshrined into law through the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 which received Royal Assent on December 9, 2021, and will go into force once proclaimed. The legislation is key to the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan to educate, train and help recruit tens of thousands of new health care staff through partnerships with labour partners, long-term care homes, and education and training providers, so that homes can provide an average of four hours of direct care per day to residents.
The government has a plan to fix long-term care and to ensure Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care and quality of life they need and deserve both now and in the future. The plan is built on three pillars: staffing and care; accountability, enforcement, and transparency; and building modern, safe, comfortable homes for seniors.