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Funding to boost long-term care services

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Regional staff has requested that regional council provide additional funding to increase direct care hours for Durham’s long-term care homes.

The region’s social services department is asking for an additional $212,000 to 2018’s budget for the long-term care of seniors.

Social services is also requesting the additional provincial funding be used to increase direct resident care hours that will be provided by existing care staff.

In May, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care advised the Central East Local Health Integration Network that each licensed long-term care home (LTCH) will receive an annual base funding of $106,000 to fill a full-time registered nurse position.

According to the report, “the objective of this funding is to increase the specialized care and the direct care hours provided to LTCH residents.”

The report states that LTCHs will have a two year phase-in period to bring in the new registered nurse positions that began on July 1. During the phase-in period, homes can use the funding to increase direct resident care hours that are already provided by existing staff.

“As always, there are risks to the Region with respect to increases in Provincial subsidies,” reads a staff report. “In the event that the level of provincial funding provided to the Region does not increase to accommodate inflationary and contractual increases, or provide sufficient funding to cover the Region’s administrative costs to deliver the increased level of service, the Region’s costs would need to increase to maintain the same level of service to the community.”

The request will be in front of regional council for final approval at today’s meeting.