Frail and elderly residents in Ontario’s nursing homes may be paying in more ways than one for the province’s budget shortfall.
While Health Minister Deb Matthews is holding the line on increases to long-term care funding to 2.8 per cent (only 1 per cent dedicated to direct care), she is asking residents to kick in a lot more than that.
On May 30th the Ministry issued a bulletin to say the basic co-payment rate is increasing by $1.81 per day. That amounts to a 3.4 per cent increase.
The premium rate is also increasing from an additional $8 a day to $9 a day for semi-private (8.8 per cent) and from $18 to $19.75 a day for private (9.1 per cent).
Depending on the accommodation level, that could mean a hike of between $54 and $106 per month.
This comes at a time when Deb Matthews is also holding the line on the Ministry’s complement of inspectors, who say they are so short-staffed that homes will be waiting as long as five years for a detailed inspection.
While business is being told to wait for another cut in their taxes, frail and elderly residents are being asked to pay more for their care.