QUEEN’S PARK – With 21,000 seniors waiting for a long-term care bed in Ontario, it’s inexcusable that the Liberal government is eight years behind schedule on plans to develop beds in Ontario.
What’s worse, Ontario’s two ministers of health haven’t so much as drafted a schedule to show where and when the beds will be developed in Ontario, said Ontario PC Associate Health Critic for Long Term-Care, MPP Bill Walker.
“Just so the House is clear,” MPP Walker said in today’s Question Period, “under this government’s watch, the number of long-term care beds has increased by a mere 3 per cent, the waitlist has exploded to 21,000 seniors and 15 per cent of our seniors die while on the waitlist; yet eight years later, the Ministers responsible for our seniors’ health and well-being can’t so much as say when and where they will redevelop their beds.”
The province first announced back in 2007 it would redevelop about 3,500 senior beds per year over 10 years. If they had stuck to the plan, then Ontario would have 35,000 redeveloped beds available across 627 long-term care homes.
MPP Walker challenged the Associate Minister of Long-Term Care Dipika Damerla to disclose the budgeted cost for redeveloping old and for building new LTC beds in Ontario.
We need to make sure our seniors are taken care of,” he said. “We are concerned that the ministers continue to fail to give any assurance that they have a handle on the long-term care plan. In fact, their lack of answer today shows that they have no plan for how or when they’re going to build the beds and thus properly manage the needs of our rapidly aging population.”