Province commits $14M for nurse practitioners in long-term care homes
Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews speaks in London, Ont. on Monday, March 3, 2014. (Cristina Howorun / CTV London)
Published Monday, March 3, 2014 4:44PM EST
The province is making a multi-million dollar investment in long-term care, and it will directly impact residents.
Health Minister Deb Matthews says "Over the next three years our government will spend up to $14 million for new nurse practitioners in our long-term care homes."
Nurse practitioners have additional training and can diagnose and treat common injuries and illnesses and write some prescriptions, meaning residents won't always have to wait to see a doctor for treatment.
Speaking in London, Matthews says this move will help to reduce transfers to hospitals and even keep residents safer by reducing the number of injuries from falls.
Inspectors have found that poor fall management and prevention programs are one of the most common citations against long-term care homes in our area, though it's not clear how this move will have a direct impact on the issue.
The money will translate into 75 new nurse practitioners across the province.
But since there are 80 long-term care homes in the London region alone the investment will translate into a new nurse practitioner for about one in every eight homes.
Currently the region has 18 nurse practitioners working in 22 homes.
"This is the first, this is the next step, so we need to train those nurse practitioners," Matthews says.