It’s likely two long-term care homes in Queens will be replaced according to Health and Wellness Minister Zach Churchill.
The province announced $96.5 million in funding to replace or repair 17 facilities including Hillsview Acres and Queens Manor.
Churchill says the department is in conversation with administrators and boards of the long term care homes to learn whether they feel a refit or rebuild is warranted.
“I suspect that all that is going to point towards new builds for these facilities,” said Churchill. “We’re also looking at increasing the bed spaces available in Queens County too. Looking at the age of the buildings, looking at the fact that we need more beds and we’re going to be building more beds in that area, these are likely going to be new builds.”
Churchill says the recent announcement will add 264 more new long-term care spaces across the province to the 236 beds previously announced in January for a total of 500 new spaces.
The provincial PC party has released a plan calling for the creation of 2,500 new long-term care spaces.
But the health minister says the department’s data doesn’t support the need for that many new beds.
“We use demographic analysis and modeling to determine what the need is going to be into the future and we build our plans based around the math and the science there,” said Churchill. “We do see a turnover in this sector of close to 3,000 people a year and what we want to do is reduce the wait time that people are waiting.”
Churchill says the five to six months people are now waiting to be placed in a long-term care facility will be cut to two months based on this announcement.
He says it’s important not to overbuild capacity, as demand for those beds will eventually drop off.
Of the 500 new beds announced, six will be built in Queens.
Churchill expects a decision on which facilities will be rebuilt will come over the next few months with groundbreaking to follow in short order.
Government is projecting to have the new facilities up and running by 2026-27.
Reported by Ed Halverson
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