MPP alarmed at long-term care wait times

By Chad Ingram

Published April 11 2017

Combined there are more than 110 people on the waiting list for basic beds at Minden’s Hyland Crest and Haliburton’s Highland Wood long-term care homes and they could be waiting a year or two for beds to become available.

Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott says the wait times for long-term care in the province are unacceptable.

“The demand for long-term care beds is becoming desperate in my riding” Scott told the health minister during a recent Question Period. “In fact Central East LHIN continues to have the highest ratio of need-to-available beds in the entire province.”

According to a Feb. 28 report from the Central East Community Care Access Centre there are a total of 9529 long-stay beds at 68 long-term care homes in its jurisdiction and 9825 people on the waiting list for those beds.

The report indicates that an average of 354 people are moved into beds per month in the Central East region.

In Haliburton County Minden’s Hyland Crest has 61 beds with a waiting list of 62 people in line for basic beds.

The anticipated wait time is 303 days. Wait times in the report are calculated to the 90th percentile meaning they reflect the experience of nine out of 10 people. Actual wait times may be shorter or longer.

At Highland Wood in Haliburton Village there are 30 beds with a waiting list of 51 people looking for basic beds.

The anticipated wait time there is 695 days. On average one bed a month becomes available at each of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services long-term care homes.

At Extendicare Haliburton there are 60 basic beds with a waiting list of four and an anticipated waiting period of 75 days.

The facilities in Haliburton County are about middle of the road when it comes to wait times for facilities in the Central East region.

Some facilities have wait times of more than 2000 days and one more than 3000 days according to the report.

“Ensuring timely access to long-term care beds is a challenging issue here in Haliburton County and I believe across the province” HHHS CEO Carolyn Plummer wrote in an email to the paper.

“That’s why we are continuing to work in close partnership with the Central East Local Health Integration Network (CE LHIN) and other partners in and around Haliburton County to identify alternatives to long-term care.

“We know people want to stay in their homes as long as possible prior to transitioning to long-term care and fortunately we have had recent CE LHIN investments in our community to enable that. These investments include an increase to our Community Support Services budget which allows us to provide more services such as our Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) Meals on Wheels transportation services and home support services.

“We also received an investment to help us address the high demand for assisted living services for high-risk seniors. And there has been a recent investment of over $15.7 million across the CE LHIN to expand CCAC (home care) services. We are also fortunate to have received an investment to develop a rural health hub model for Haliburton County to help enable a more seamless and sustainable health system for our community.”