Today, the Honourable Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, announced that after consulting with stakeholders, Ontario is extending the High Wage Transition Fund and the Structural Compliance Fund while it works on developing new programs to improve how long-term care is delivered in Ontario.
The government heard from stakeholders that minor capital is needed to help maintain long-term care homes. To address this, the government will be extending the Structural Compliance Premium to March 31, 2020, while it launches consultations this Fall on what a new minor capital program could look like. The government is also extending the High Wage Transition Fund to December 31, 2020, as it develops a long-term care staffing strategy.
"The transitional extension of these funding streams is to ensure that gaps in long-term care staffing and funding can be addressed, while we work to modernize and increase access for long-term care in Ontario" said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "Today's announcement is an example of how our government is responding to the long-term care sector's needs and fulfilling our commitment to build a 21st century long-term care system that meets the needs of Ontario's most vulnerable people."
Ontario is continuing to work with the long-term care sector to ensure the system is responsive to the needs of Ontarians by increasing access and reducing waitlists, while also maintaining patient safety and ensuring high standards of care.
"As Minister of Long-Term Care, I am committed to building a system that focuses on residents and a place our province's most vulnerable people can call home. We must work together to change the way long-term care works in Ontario," added Fullerton.
- The High Wage Transition Fund (HWTF) was introduced on April 1, 1996, as a three-year temporary transition measure to assist operators to maintain equitable service levels, while higher than average wage costs were addressed. The HWTF will conclude on December 31, 2020.
- The Structural Compliance Premium (SCP) was introduced on April 1, 1998, to allow the Ministry of Long-Term Care to pay long-term care home operators, who were not eligible at the time to receive other financial assistance from the ministry, so that they could upgrade their homes. The SCP will conclude on March 31, 2020.
- The government has invested $72 million more this year than last year in Ontario’s long-term care system – money to support more beds, nursing and personal support care, and programs and services for residents and families.
- The government is also investing $1.75 billion to create 15,000 new long-term care beds and upgrade an additional 15,000 older beds to modern design.
- Currently, hospitals across the province have received a minor capital fund from the province for many years, which long-term care homes have not.