The Nova Scotia Liberals are planning to replace Queens Manor and Hillsview Acres with a new consolidated facility.
Liberal leader Iain Rankin was at Queens Manor in Liverpool Thursday with Queens Liberal Candidate Susan MacLeod to announce the new facility will add six more beds to increase the combined capacity of the two locations from 90 to 96 beds.
Rankin says the liberal government had already been moving to modernize long-term care homes and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought that need home.
“It’s more pronounced, especially looking at higher quality of infection control that we need to have single rooms with no shared washrooms and more modern equipment in the homes,” said Rankin.
A site for the new long-term care home has not been decided. Rankin says a location will be determined as part of the tendering process.
The promise to replace the two aging care homes in Queens comes as a result of one of the last announcements the Liberal government made before calling the election.
The province pledged $152.6 million to renovate and replace almost 2,400 beds across 24 facilities in Nova Scotia and add a further 500 new beds to the Halifax region, where the demand is highest.
Rankin says the Liberals are also investing in workers to care for people in the long-term care homes.
“More workplace safety, we’ve increased pay and we’re allocating more spaces, you saw at the Nova Scotia Community College.”
Rankin says his government will address worker shortages by creating 276 spaces to train new licensed practical nurses, opening 30 seats - tuition free, for current continuing care assistants to upgrade their skills along with heavily recruiting to attract more careworkers to the province.
Government recently reached a collective agreement with the union representing a large number of CCAs that will see them receive an eight percent wage increase over the first two years of the contract.
Rankin says seniors and residents of long-term care homes are a priority for his party.
“We’re building on a lot of progress we’ve made recently. We’ve made significant, historic investments in our 21/22 budget. We’re building on some of that with an additional spend for staffing,” said Rankin. “We have the most aggressive capital plan including the largest single long-term care investment in our history. So we’re building on that. It’s targeted and we believe that it’s appropriate and fiscally responsible. Those that have been working on the front lines deserve this investment.”
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