FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, October 30, 2019– Today, the Financial Accountability Officer released a new report: Long-Term Care Homes Program: A Review of the Plan to Create 15,000 New Long-Term Care Beds in Ontario.
In Ontario, the wait list for a long-term care bed reached nearly 35,000 individuals in 2018-19, a 78 per cent increase from 2011-12. Ontario’s growing and aging population, combined with a lack of new long-term care beds, led to the longer wait list.
To address the wait list for long-term care, the Province has committed to add 15,000 new long-term care beds over five years. This is the largest new health sector spending commitment in the 2019 Ontario Budget and is part of the government’s plan to end “hallway health care.”
In today’s report, the FAO estimates the cost of the 15,000 new long-term care beds, projects changes to the long-term care wait list and wait times, and discusses the potential impact of the initiative on the Province’s goal to end “hallway health care.” Key findings from the report include:
- The 15,000 new bed commitment is expected to cost the Province $1.7 billion over the next five years. Once all the new beds are in operation, the on-going annual cost will be approximately $970 million.
- The wait list for a long-term care bed is projected to peak at 40,200 Ontarians next year. Once all the new beds come into service the wait list is projected to be 36,900, still higher than the wait list in 2018-19.
- Ontario’s growing and aging population will continue to place pressure on the long-term care system. Even with the 15,000 new beds, an additional 55,000 new long-term care beds will be needed by 2033 to maintain the wait list at approximately 36,900 individuals.
- Patients waiting in hospitals for a long-term care bed occupied 340,000 hospital bed days in 2017-18, a significant contributor to the problem of hallway health care. Wait times for a long-term care bed are expected to peak in 2020-21, implying that, in the absence of other health sector changes, hallway health care will get worse over the next two years.
About the FAO
Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Visit our website at www.fao-on.org/en/ and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/InfoFAO.