The Ontario PCs have reaffirmed the government’s commitment to funding 19 new long-term care beds at The Villa Care Centre in Midland.

In early October, Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott, announced that Ontario is moving forward with their commitment to add 6,000 new long-term care beds across the province. This will be the first wave of more than 15,000 new long-term care beds the government has committed to funding over the next five years.

“We are taking the necessary steps to end hallway health care,” said Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop. “One patient treated in a hallway is one patient too many.”

The region will see a total of 22 new long-term care beds, with 19 being added at the Villa Care Centre and three new beds coming to Georgian Manor Home for the Aged in Penetanguishene.

The issue at many hospitals, including Georgian Bay General Hospital, is that there is a lack of long-term care beds available to send patients to once they no longer need the emergency care of a hospital. These new beds will help relieve pressures on the hospitals.

“We said we were going to make our hospitals run better in this province and with this announcement, we are showing that we are keeping our promise,” said Dunlop.

Dunlop stated that the additional $90 million investment to address hallway medicine will create 640 new beds and spaces and also extend funding for spaces already operating in the hospital and community sectors.

“Hallway healthcare is a multifaceted problem that will require real and innovative solutions,” said Elliott. “Our government will continue to listen to the people who work on the front lines of our healthcare system as we develop a long-term, transformational strategy to address hallway healthcare.”

Funding for 19 new beds at the Villa Care Centre was previously announced by the Liberal government back in March. These beds will be in addition to the 109 existing beds at the facility that will be redeveloped, forming a new 128-bed home.

The three new beds for Penetanguishene were originally announced in May.