Petitions Seek More Funding in Provincial Budget for Care and Services and to Begin Eliminating 3 and 4 Bed Wards

    MARKHAM, ON, March 19 /CNW/ - Long term care residents, families and
others have made it known that they are looking to Thursday's provincial
budget to fund more resident care and services and address the double standard
in resident privacy and comfort between older and newer homes.
    That message was delivered in petitions containing some 50,000 signatures
that were delivered to MPPs last week by representatives of OLTCA member homes
across the province.
    "Residents and families are asking government to increase operating
funding by $390 million in 2007 and $214 million in 2008 to fund 30 more
minutes of daily care, enhance programming and meal menus, provide the ability
to enhance dietary services and maintain housekeeping and laundry services,"
said Executive Director, Karen Sullivan. "As well, they want government to
introduce a capital renewal and retrofit program for the province's 300 older
B and C homes starting with a commitment of $9.5 million in this budget to
renew the first 2,500 of these beds."
    Ms. Sullivan pointed out these issues were front and centre during the
recent public hearings on the new Long Term Care Homes Act (Bill 140).
    "Presenters told their stories of how, with current funding levels, staff
are run off their feet to just try and meet the basic needs of residents," she
said. "They also highlighted the differences in physical privacy and comfort
for the 35,000 residents in older homes compared to what government is helping
fund for the 36,000 residents who live in new and recently rebuilt homes."
    These differences include 3 and 4 bed ward rooms versus a maximum of two
residents to a room.
    "Since government indicated during the public hearings on Bill 140 that
these were budget issues, homes, residents, families and staff are looking to
Thursday's provincial budget for government's response," she added.

    OLTCA represents the private, not-for-profit, charitable and municipal
operators of 428 long term care homes that provide care and services to some
50,000 residents throughout Ontario. This represents approximately 70% of the
province's long term care homes and 65% of the total beds.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Gilbert Heffern, Director of
Communications and Public Affairs, (905) 470-8995, (647) 999-8341 (cell),

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