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The province plans to add 2,000 more nurses to Ontario’s long-term care homes sector

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TORONTO – Ontario plans to spend up to $ 100 million to add 2,000 nurses to the long-term care sector over the coming years as part of a larger plan to increase staffing levels and improve care for residents.

Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips said Wednesday that the plan will support Ontario’s commitment to increase direct care for long-term care residents to four hours a day, on average.

The elderly entering long-term care are older and have more complex needs than a decade ago, Phillips said, and additional staff is needed to support them.

“The level of care that those residents need has increased dramatically, but the amount of care they receive each day has not been kept high,” Phillips told a news conference in Toronto.

Read more:

Ontario to double number of long-term care home inspectors, allow immediate fees

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Funding announced Wednesday will go toward several programs over the next four years – one will provide up to $ 6,000 a year in tuition for personal support staff to become registered practitioners and up to $ 10,000 a year in tuition for registered nurses to enroll. nurse.

Participants will need to commit to working in long-term care for the same period of time they receive schooling support.

“This support will help address the barriers that people face when they want to continue their education and it is a favorable scenario,” Phillips said. “More staff for long-term care, more education and career opportunities for staff in long-term care.”

The government is also aiming to increase access to nursing programs in publicly funded colleges. A broadcast through that program will provide up to $ 6,000 per year for internationally trained nurses to earn the required job credentials in Ontario.

Wednesday’s announcement is the latest in a series of laws leading to legislation to be introduced on Thursday. Phillips has said the legislation will set standards in long-term care, including the government’s commitment that residents will receive four hours of direct care a day by 2025.

READ MORE:Ontario completely ignored and bulldozed problems in long-term care: former inspector

Earlier this week, Phillips announced plans to double the number of long-term care inspectors and return to proactive home inspections, which the Progressive Conservative government reduced in 2018.

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Phillips has also said an announcement will come this week about the future of wages for personal support workers. A temporary pandemic wage increase of $ 3 an hour will end on October 31st.

Trade unions and other lawyers have cited low wages as a key factor behind the lack of staff tormenting the sector that saw widespread COVID-19 infections and deaths during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Doug Ford has said he will make that permanent pay rise, but has not said how or when that will happen.

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