The pandemic has underlined persistent challenges in Canada’s long-term care (LTC) homes. To keep senior citizens safe and enhance their quality of life, the 2020 Fall Economic Statement announced up to 1 Bn USD through the Sage Long-Term Care Fund (SLTFC).
This fund assists provinces and territories in taking up activities to control infection and control in long-term care. These initiatives include implementing wage top-ups, hiring additional staff, renovating infrastructure, and doing readiness assessments.
On behalf of the honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary of the Minister of Seniors, disclosed the signing of an SLTFC agreement with Nova Scotia. As per the agreement, Nova Scotia is receiving more than USD 27 Million, with work already underway to take better care and provide facilities to seniors in LTC homes.
The money is going toward the cost of 340 long-term care assistants and equipment related to infectious disease prevention and control. The Provincial government has already started spending, aware that money from Ottawa would be arriving soon.
Nova Scotia has taken initiatives to control infection and improve long-term care homes by funding-
- Increasing environmental supports to control prevention of infection and regulate measures in LTC homes
- Distribution of PPE supplies to long-term care facilities as part of the COVID-19 response.
- Hiring LTC assistants to assist in infection prevention and control activities like supporting visitation requirements.
- Development of an infection prevention and control program with a team of five Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and support from the NSHA occupational safety and health team.
Barb Adams, Nova Scotia’s minister of seniors and long-term care, said that her government supports national standards, but provinces require the funding to meet them.
Health Care Coverage and Access in Canada
Healthcare services in Canada are provided by the territorial and provincial systems of publicly funded health care, officially recognized as Medicare. It works as per the provisions of the Canada Health Act of 1984. Canadian Medicare offers coverage for nearly 70% of Canadians’ healthcare needs, and the remaining 30% is looked after by the private sector.