The Ontario government is spending $1.9 billion by 2024-2025 to hire more than 27,000 new long-term care workers and achieve an average of four hours of daily direct care.
“We want more people working in long-term care to love what they do and thrive in their careers,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “That’s why our new staffing plan will pursue innovative partnerships.. and more training opportunities for future nurses, personal support workers, and health care staff.”
The new staffing plan called A Better Place to Live; A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, builds on Ontario’s commitment to increase hours of daily care to an average of four hours per day for long-term care residents as noted in the Ontario 2020 budget. The plan focuses on six areas:
- Investing up to $1.9 billion annually by 2025 to create more than 27,000 new positions for personal support workers, registered nurses and registered practical nurses in long-term care to meet the direct care commitment; in addition, providing a 20 per cent increase in direct care time administered by other health care professionals such as physiotherapists and social workers.
- Accelerating and expanding education and training to prepare and train tens of thousands of new staff that will be required.
- Supporting continued professional development and growth of long-term care staff to improve retention.
- Improving working conditions for staff by coordinating with long-term care employers to increase full-time employment and promote innovative approaches to work and technology.
- Driving effective and accountable leadership in homes across the province to improve oversight, guidance and medical outcomes in long-term care homes.
- Measuring progress against key performance indicators.
The province will be collaborating with industry professionals and the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development to train new staff over the next four years. It will also be collaborating with residents and families to develop a new framework based on what quality of care and quality of life means to them.
Ontario has also invested $540 million to improve surveillance, increase infection prevention and control personnel, increase PPE supplies, and build a strong health care workforce at long-term care homes across the province.