Health Department memo outlines cuts to long-term care

June 23, 2015

Seniors in nursing homes are being forced to pay for basic health care services such as blood collection and foot care because of millions of dollars of cuts to the long-term care budget by the McNeil government.

The NDP Caucus has obtained a memo sent by the Department of Health to long-term care facilities on June 2, 2015. The memo outlines a number of funding changes for long-term care facilities including: No CPI increase for operations, a reduction in operating funding for not-for-profit facilities, a wage freeze for non-union and management staff, a reduction in the small equipment allowance and a reduction in facilities profit lines. Read the Long term care memo.

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says larger facilities have seen their funding cut by hundreds of thousands of dollars. She says the McNeil government should not be looking to find savings off the backs of seniors and their families.

“Given our aging population one really needs to question the McNeil government’s rational for cutting about $3.6 million from the operating budgets of long-term care facilities,” says MacDonald. “For example, Northwood received a $360,000 reduction in their funding, which means they won’t be able to move forward with plans to enhance their staffing to better meet the needs of seniors. Instead, they may be forced to reduce staffing.”

Valerie Veinot, the administrator at Rosedale Home in New Germany, had her operating budget cut in the last budget. As a result the facility now must charge seniors for blood services and foot care.

“We were already running a deficit due to higher electricity costs and snow removal associated with the harsh winter, but this cut by the Department of Health has made things worse,” says Veinot. “As a result we will have to charge seniors for things we would prefer not to.”