OMNI applauds province for additional LTC funding in 2016-17 budget

Budget

Gov’t promises 2% increase in level-of-care funding, $10M annual injection for BSO over next 3 years

OMNI Health Care is applauding the province for its 2016-17 budget announcement that includes a level-of-care funding increase and a multimillion-dollar injection into the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) program.

The budget, which was tabled Feb. 25, has promised a yearly two-per-cent increase to level-of-care funding in the province’s long-term care homes over the next three years. The budget also includes an annual $10-million investment over the next three years to fund BSO, a provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation. BSO funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.

“We are very pleased that the government has recognized the need for stable funding for the provision of nursing and personal care services and programs and support services in Ontario’s long-term care homes over the next three years,” OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says.

“As well, OMNI Health Care is encouraged by the allocation of $10 million annually in additional resources over the next three years to Behaviour Supports Ontario, a program that significantly benefits residents in long-term care.”

McCarthy says OMNI is hopeful a significant proportion of the additional funding will be allocated to staffing within Ontario’s long-term care homes.

While the 2016-17 budget has been tabled, OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes are continuing their support for the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s Better Seniors’ Care letter-writing campaign, which advocates for improvements to long-term care homes in four key areas:

– Making long-term care homes safer and more modern

– Building capacity for better dementia care

– Supporting the role of smaller long-term care homes

– Staffing solutions that will lead to better seniors’ care

Homes are encouraging residents, their families and staff members to sign letters outlining the need for funding in these areas. The letters will then be delivered to MPPs.

“(W)e will continue to advocate for greater recognition of increasing resident care needs, and a viable capital development program that meets the needs of residents, as well as addressing the needs of smaller homes and communities throughout the province,” McCarthy says.

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