Ontario expands local community paramedicine for long-term care program
The Ontario government is providing up to $82.5 million over three years to expand the province’s Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program to 22 additional communities including Kawartha Lakes. This program is fully funded by the provincial government and operational across 33 Ontario communities including Haliburton County.
“The expansion of the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program to Kawartha Lakes will support our local seniors by providing them high quality care when and where they need in their own homes, while they wait for a bed in long-term care,” said local MPP Laurie Scott in a media release.
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.
“The City of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service is pleased to see the long-term care community paramedicine program expanded to our community. Community Paramedic programs have demonstrated that they are scalable and sustainable solutions which bridge identified gaps in care locally. This investment will support seniors by providing quality care and service needed to live longer and in comfort of their homes. It will provide our seniors, their families and caregivers comfort and peace of mind they deserve while potentially delaying the need for long-term care,” said Randy Mellow, chief of paramedics, City of Kawartha Lakes, who is based in Peterborough.
Early feedback from participating communities indicates reduction in rates of hospital admissions and an 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.
MEDIA RELEASE QUICK FACTS
· As of June 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 around the province’s commitment of delivering an average of four hours of care per resident per day. To meet this commitment, the government is investing $4.9 billion over the next four years to help create 27,000 new positions for PSWs and nurses in long-term care. This 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.