Proposed New Long Term Care Act
an Important Opportunity to Make Lasting Enhancements to the System
October 3, 2006
TORONTO (October 3, 2006) - The Ontario government today introduced
a new Long-Term Care Homes Act that will govern all long term care
homes in the province, and the Ontario Association of Non-Profit
Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS) welcomes this important
undertaking as an opportunity to make lasting enhancements to the
The Bill will consolidate three separate laws --- the Nursing Homes
Act which governs not-for-profit and for-profit nursing homes; the
Homes for the Aged and Rest Homes Act which governs not-for-profit
homes operated by municipalities; and the Charitable Institutions
Act which governs not-for-profit homes operated by charitable organizations.
"We see this as an opportunity to build a true partnership
in which all parties work together to ensure the best possible care
and quality of life for residents of long term care homes in Ontario,"
said Donna Rubin, CEO of OANHSS.
OANHSS is disappointed that the Act does not contain a strong statement
of support for the not-for-profit sector. OANHSS wants the legislation
to commit the province to preserving, protecting, and promoting
not-for-profit long term care. This is needed because of the increasing
imbalance in the system and the loss of choice such a shift entails.
A decade ago, about half of all long term care beds were operated
on a not-for-profit basis. Today, they account for only about 48
per cent of the total.
"The preservation and promotion of the not-for-profit sector
is entirely consistent with the government's expressed support for
the public delivery of health services," said Rubin.
The Bill places great emphasis on compliance and enforcement matters.
These are important issues, but OANHSS would also like to see a
system of incentives for homes that are top performers in providing
care to residents.
"What we do not need is an overly restrictive environment
that saps the creativity of the sector. The new Act must also foster
innovation and excellence. Many of the not-for-profit homes go above
and beyond minimum standards, and the government should encourage
this through incentives," said Rubin.
When new standards or requirements are introduced in the future,
OANHSS wants government to ensure that long term care homes are
provided with the human and financial resources needed to meet the
"All parties have responsibilities, and government must do
its part to make certain that homes are not impeded by lack of resources.
Establishing new standards, but not providing the means to achieve
them, is only a prescription for failure," noted Rubin.
OANHSS wishes to remind the current government of its commitment
to increasing operating funding by $6,000 per resident. Over the
past three years, the increase has totaled only about $2,000 per
If the renewal of licenses is conditional on structural compliance,
the government should also assist homes with a capital renewal program.
"The proposed Act is a major development for our sector, and
we will be working closely with government to ensure that the new
legislation best meets the needs of residents, both today and into
the future," said Rubin.
OANHSS is the provincial association representing not-for-profit
providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Members
include municipal and charitable long term care homes, non-profit
nursing homes, seniors' housing projects and community service agencies.
Member organizations operate over 26,000 long term care beds and
over 5,000 seniors' housing units across the province.
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