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Ontario Government Expands Paramedicine for Long-Term Care Program to Kenora District

Ontario Government Expands Paramedicine for Long-Term Care Program to Kenora District

Program provides care for seniors waiting for a long-term care bed

NEWS February 1, 2022

KENORA – The Ontario government is expanding the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program to Kenora District. The program, fully funded by the provincial government and operational in 33 Ontario communities, will grow by 22 more communities, including Kenora. The program was first piloted in five communities in October 2020.

“Our government is committed to fixing Ontario’s long-term care system,” said Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford. “Improving the care that Northwestern Ontario’s seniors receive is a key part of our plan. Expanding the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program to the Kenora District will support our local seniors with high-quality care in their own homes while they wait for a bed in long-term care.”

The program works alongside primary care and home and community care to provide the following services to eligible seniors:

· Access to health services 24-7 through in-home and remote methods such as online supports

· Non-emergency home visits and in-home testing procedures

· Ongoing monitoring of vital signs to prevent escalation of chronic medical conditions

· Assessments, referrals, diagnostic procedures, and point-of-care testing

Early feedback from participating communities indicates a reduction in hospital admissions and increased integration with primary care.

The program is fully funded by the provincial government and is operated in partnership with municipalities and District Social Services Administration Boards.

“Community paramedicine will be an outstanding addition to primary healthcare, public health and preventive services in our communities,” , said Barry Baltessen, Board Chair of the Kenora District Services Board. “The vast geography and remoteness, along with the lack of access to health care professionals in our region leads to an underserved population when it comes to their healthcare needs. This program will improve access to care, improve health outcomes and reduce the stress on our primary care and emergency 9-1-1 services. Community paramedics will work with the primary care and public health systems to address the needs of rural residents in a more efficient and proactive way.”

QUICK FACTS:

· As of September 2021, more than 38,000 people were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed in Ontario.

· In December 2020, Ontario launched the long-term care Staffing Plan, which centers on the province’s commitment to delivering an average of four hours of care per resident per day. The government is investing $4.9 billion over the next four years to create 27,000 new positions for

PSWs and nurses in long-term care to meet this commitment. The funding will also support a 20 per cent increase in direct care time by allied health professionals, including physiotherapists and social workers, over the next two years.

· The long-term care Staffing Plan also responds to recommendations from Justice Gillese’s Public Inquiry Report on the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System, and recommendations from Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission, in addition to submissions from key long-term care organizations and other partners.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

· Ontario Launches Innovative Solution to Improve Long-Term Care · Ontario Expands Existing Community Paramedicine Programs to Long-Term Care · Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19