Jun 28, 2019
By Jane Brown
The newly appointed provincial minister of long term care is doubling down on the Ontario government’s pledge, to substantially increase the number of long term care beds in this province.
MPP Merrilee Fullerton, who practiced as a family doctor for 28 years, was given the portfolio last week when Premier Doug Ford shuffled his cabinet.
Joining Jane Brown on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back, Fullerton explained the Ontario government is moving ahead with a plan to create a patient centered system that will allow both patients and their families get access to the care they need, when they need it.
“We’re on our way to getting 15,000 long term care beds in five years up and running. We’ve got over 7000 beds allocated already, and this will be a benefit to our hospitals as well, because as you know, our healthcare system is all interconnected and long term care is a critical part of helping to end hallway healthcare,” Fullerton explained. Listen to Jane’s conversation with Doctor Fullerton by clicking here.
In response to the minister’s comments on Fight Back, Laura Tamblyn Watts of CARP – A New Vision of Aging, says she’s somewhat skeptical of the government’s promise of so many extra long term beds.
“Sometimes when they say things are new beds, what they may be are long term care facilities that aren’t up to standards and they’re just being refreshed, so they’re not actually adding new stock to it, they’re just changing a classification to it,” Tamblyn Watts said.
Laura says it’s also important to focus on the appropriate amount of staffing and supports needed.