Liberals to pledge to add extra nursing home beds
August 26th, 2010
FREDERICTON - Liberal Leader Shawn Graham is expected to launch his bid for re-election today with a focus on improving long-term care for seniors.
In his first major announcement since the writ dropped for the Sept. 27 election, Graham will pledge this afternoon to create 550 more advanced-care nursing home beds.
The beds will be in addition to a plan already underway to create 700 new nursing home beds by 2016.
Graham will also promise to improve training for home-care workers, exempt renovations of residences from property tax increases when work is performed to accommodate a family member eligible for long-term care, and partner with the New Brunswick Health Council to develop a long-term care strategy.
The additional beds are designed to address the growing number of seniors waiting in hospitals, a chronic problem that has put added strain on the province's health-care system.
In the Horizon Health Network, for instance, 28 per cent of hospital beds in 2009-2010 were occupied by people waiting for a nursing home bed.
Based on current projections, at the current rate, by 2015 nearly half the hospital beds in the province will be filled with seniors waiting to move to a different facility.
Under the plan introduced by the Liberal government, the total investment in nursing home infrastructure in New Brunswick will reach $400 million during the next five years. Eleven nursing homes are being replaced with new facilities, and two other new nursing homes will be built in Neguac and Dieppe. Five nursing homes will undergo major additions; 33 will undergo extensive repairs, and nine will receive minor repairs.
All new facilities are expected to be completed by 2016-17.
A total of 297 new beds would be created across the province. This would be in addition to the 403 new beds already created since 2006.
Further details of the new commitments to long-term care are expected to be announced by Graham .