The strain on staff from nursing-care level residents can affect the care of all residents, says Tanyia Kingyens. (Parkhill Place)

A dispute between private community-care facilities and the P.E.I. government is putting extra strain on the Island's health care system, says the P.E.I. Community Care Association.

The association represents 38 community-care facilities, which provide a level of care just below what's offered in long-term nursing homes. But, increasingly, community-care homes are looking after residents waiting for a long-term placement.

The province has refused repeated requests to increase the subsidy it pays for those residents, said association spokeswoman Tanyia Kingyens. That's putting a strain on staffing levels, said Kingyens.

"It's having a direct impact on the other residents," she said.

"What we used to be able to do in a day we can't get done in a day. It just changes the atmosphere of the facility."

Operators have been told to send residents to hospital if they can't provide the appropriate level of care, said Kingyens.

Hospitals are already dealing with a lack of acute care beds. Some of those beds are being occupied by people waiting for placement in long-term care. Hospitals have also been asked to shorten the length of stays for acute-care patients.

For mobile device users: Should the P.E.I. government provide a further subsidy to community-care homes for nursing-care level patients?