McGuinty Government Moving Forward on Redevelopment of Blue Water Rest Home



    ZURICH, ON, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is addressing the
unique needs of small and non-profit long term-care homes in a pilot project
at the Blue Water Rest Home that will bring together both health and social
services in a rural setting," Health and Long-Term Care Minister George
Smitherman announced today.
    "We are throwing away the cookie cutter approach to redeveloping
long-term care homes in Ontario," said Smitherman. "Our goal is to be more
responsive and flexible so that all homes in the province that need to be
upgraded have that opportunity - Blue Water Rest Home is the first step in
that direction."
    Blue Water Rest Home was selected as the pilot for the McGuinty
government's recently announced plan to redevelop 35,000 older long-term care
beds over the next 10 years. Under this pilot project the ministry will:
    
    -   Provide a funding grant of up to $100,000 to plan for the
        redevelopment of the home
    -   Raise the construction per diem from $10.35 per bed to approximately
        $15.00 per bed to recognize inflation, construction costs and the
        specific challenges faced by smaller and non-profit homes
    

    The ministry provides additional capital funds on a per bed, per day
basis for each long-term care bed that is redeveloped. This additional capital
funding is used to support the payment of loans secured by operators for
actual construction costs of long-term care beds.
    The ministry, the South West Local Health Integration Network and Blue
Water Rest Home will work together to develop other programs, such as child
day care, supportive housing units and training programs, that will transform
the home into a hub of community-based services in a rural area.
    "This announcement will end the uncertainty for small, rural homes like
Blue Water Rest Home," said MPP Carol Mitchell. "By responding to the needs of
smaller homes in our communities, we are helping to make certain that all
seniors will receive the dedicated, compassionate care they deserve."
    "We commend the government for moving ahead with this pilot program,"
said Martha Craig, Administrator, Blue Water Rest Home. "Smaller homes
generally do not have the management strength and human resources availability
to dedicate the time required to plan for a redevelopment. This funding will
allow Blue Water to hire the resources we need to make the project a success."
    Starting in 2008, the government will move forward with a Long-Term Care
Renewal Strategy to redevelop about 3,500 beds each year.
    This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have
achieved results in long-term care. Other initiatives include:

    
    -   Increasing funding for the long-term care food allowance
        33.6 per cent since July 2003

    -   Funding 6,100 new front-line staff, including 2,300 nurses

    -   Opening 7,712 new long-term care beds since October 2003
    

    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.

    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:
www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Spencer, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-4320; A.G. Klei, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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