Hamilton to get 128 new long-term care beds

‘It’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to covering off the need’: NDP leader Andrea Horwath

The new beds will be in addition to the existing 128 beds at Baywoods Place that will be redeveloped, to form a new 256 bed home. (Meagan Fitzpatrick/CBC News)

In an effort to curb Hamilton’s lack of long-term care beds, the Ontario Liberals are providing 128 new ones to help seniors access care.

Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Helena Jaczek, was in Hamilton Friday to make the announcement.

“We are helping more seniors access the care they need in their community, close to family and friends,” said Jaczek in a news release.

The beds are going to Baywoods Place, a Hamilton nursing home that will have double the amount of beds it had before.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced in a news release that he’s pleased with the Ontario government’s investment in long-term care.

“Increased access to long-term care beds will also ultimately take pressure off our hospitals and emergency departments.”

Last November Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled a $155-million seniors plan in Hamilton. That plan includes 5,000 beds over four years, and 30,000 beds over the next 10 years, should the Liberals be elected in June.

‘It’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to covering off the need.’
– Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath

The plan, called Aging with Confidence, would also see four hours of hands-on nursing or personal support for seniors in long-term care homes. It includes $15 million to boost “naturally occurring” retirement communities where seniors already live.

Government unprepared for aging demographic: Horwath

There are long wait lists across the health care “continuum,” Ontario Hospital Association president Anthony Dale said in September.

“The root of today’s capacity challenge is that far too many frail, elderly patients can’t get access to the care they really need outside the hospital setting,” he said.

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath told CBC News that the 128 beds are not enough to curb the pressures the province’s healthcare system is facing.

“It’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to covering off the need,” said Horwath. “Right now there’s 32,000 province-wide on the waiting list for long-term care.”

“The government has been in office for 15 years and they haven’t prepared properly so now, we’re scrambling,” said Horwath. “This is not new that we have an aging demographic.”

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