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Increased wait times ahead for long-term care patients in northeastern Ontario

With the Lady Isabelle Nursing Home in Trout Creek having their license revoked by the province, long-term patients who were previously at the facility will be searching for new homes.

With closure of Trout Creek nursing home, 66 more long-term-care patients added to wait list

With the licence revocation of Lady Isabelle Nursing Home in Trout Creek, 66 people will be added to the regional wait list for placement. (CBC)
Wait times for long-term care in the northeast are expected to get longer.

With the Lady Isabelle Nursing Home in Trout Creek having their license revoked by the province, the 66 long-term patients currently at the facility will be searching for new homes.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said these patients will be given "high priority" in their search.

But not every home in the area has the capacity to accept new residents. The province has also ordered the Cedarwood Lodge in Sault Ste. Marie not to accept any more patients due to staffing issues.

The other 1,800 people on the waiting list for the 5,052 beds across northeastern Ontario will be essentially bumped to accommodate those from Lady Isabelle.  

Getting more beds a 'no-brainer'

'It's a no-brainer.' Candace Chartier, the CEO of Ontario Long Term Care Association, says the province needs more long term care beds. (Submitted)

"I think it's a no-brainer, we need more beds," said Candace Chartier, chief executive officer for Ontario Long Term Care Association.

"If we can't add more beds, we're going to end up with people living in their homes," Chartier said. "Needing more than what home care can deliver."

Current waiting times across the region are 124 days, she said.
The Lady Isabelle Nursing Home in Trout Creek has had its licence revoked by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. (Mathieu Grégoire/ Radio-Canada)

Adding to the overcrowding, Chartier said that forty per cent of the homes in Ontario need to be redeveloped.

"That means they're over 30 years of age," Chartier said. "The province has a program in place, which is really encouraging, but it's all a matter of time."

In the meantime, the 66 patients from Lady Isabelle will still be given care at the facility.

Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas said that hospitals will likely be taking in any long-term care patients that can't find a new home, adding to an already burdened system.

Extra burden on hospitals, says MPP

But Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas is concerned about the ripple effect of pushing 66 more people onto an already burdened wait list.

"Our net of last resort, the net that catches us all when a part of our system fails is our hospital," Gélinas said.

"So those people will end up being and staying in our hospital causing all of the other problems that our hospitals are facing ... Overcrowding and the long delays and the canceled surgeries."

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