Provincial Budget Responds to Voice of Residents and Families

    MARKHAM, ON, March 25 /CNW/ - The Ontario Long Term Care Association
(OLTCA) welcomes the government's response to the request of over
50,000 residents and families for 'more than a band aid' for long term care in
today's budget, particularly with respect to more staff for homes.
    "The new funding to add 2,500 new Personal Support Workers (PSWs) over
the next three years will mean more daily support for residents with things
like getting out of bed and getting to their meals," said Executive Director,
Janet Lambert. "The funding to add 2,000 nurses over the next four years will
enable homes to enhance clinical assessments and clinical care."
    In addition to the 4,500 increase in total staffing over the next four
years, today's budget contained funding to support previously announced
initiatives and to address various unspecified programs in long term care
homes over the next three years. This includes the additional funding required
in 2008-2009 to add 1,200 RPNs to the sector, an initiative that is now
beginning to roll out.
    There was also funding for broader healthcare initiatives where OLTCA
believes long term care can be an active partner with others in delivering
system solutions. These include measures to effectively address emergency wait
times and to expand the benefits and impact of Nurse Practitioners.
    "We look forward to an early opportunity to meet with government to
explore those opportunities," Ms. Lambert said.
    "We believe today's budget is a response to the voice of residents and
families and a signal of the important role of long term care in our
healthcare system," she added. "Overall the budget represents a significant
commitment to the sector in the context of the current economic realities."

    OLTCA represents the private, not-for-profit, charitable and municipal
operators of 430 long term care homes that provide care and services to some
50,000 residents throughout Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Gilbert Heffern, Director of
Communications and Public Affairs, (905) 470-8995, ext. 25, (647) 999-8341

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