Ontario Launches Innovative Solution to Improve Long-Term Care in York Region

Published on October 30, 2020

New community paramedicine program will support seniors on long-term care waitlists

The Ontario government is launching the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program in five communities across the province. This program will help seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe in the comfort of their own homes and communities for longer.

Details of the new program in the Regional Municipality of York were provided today by Christine Elliott, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, who was joined by a number of York Region MPPs. 

“As we modernize long-term care in Ontario, it is important that we continue to develop innovative approaches to deliver quality health care to our loved ones,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This program is an excellent example of our government collaborating across the health care system, and we are grateful for this partnership with paramedicine practitioners that will allow us to better serve our seniors.”

This new long-term care focused community paramedicine program will leverage the skills of paramedicine practitioners to help end hallway health care and provide additional and appropriate care for seniors. This program, which will be implemented in phases, will delay the need for long-term care for our seniors by providing them with enhanced at-home supports. The program will be fully funded by the provincial government and operated in partnership with local municipalities.

Phase one of the program will be delivered here in York Region as one of five communities selected to build upon our existing community paramedicine program.

“Our government is proud to support innovative models of care that help more patients access the care they need, when they need it,” said Christine Elliott, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora. “The new community paramedicine for long-term care program in York Region is a great example of innovative solutions that move us closer to our shared vision of building a modern and connected health care system, ending hallway health care and helping more seniors stay safe in the comfort of their own homes.”

“I am excited that York Region has been chosen as one of the first communities to participate in the paramedicine program. This one hundred percent provincially funded long-term care program will provide our seniors, their families and caregivers peace of mind while waiting for a long-term care bed,” said Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill.

“Our government is committed to modernizing and delivering innovative approaches to high quality health care for our seniors,” said Logan Kanapathi, MPP for Markham-Thornhill. “With the paramedicine for long-term care program, seniors can stay safe in the comfort of their own home.”

"Our government will continue to support and protect our most vulnerable throughout the midst of COVID-19 and beyond," said Billy Pang, MPP for Markham-Unionville. "Through the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program, it will help seniors in York Region stay safe, in the comfort of their own homes, while waiting for a long-term care bed or potentially delay the need for long-term care."

"Our government is proud to be taking real and meaningful action to improve and modernize the delivery of long-term care in Ontario," said Michael Tibollo, MPP for Vaughan-Woodbridge and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. "This new program will bring innovative solutions through a collaboration with paramedicine practitioners, and ensure our seniors and most vulnerable here in Vaughan-Woodbridge are protected and better served."

“Our government has made a commitment to seniors and their families to improve the quality of Ontario's long-term care homes as well as in Richmond Hill, and we intend to follow through,” said Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill. “The aim of implementing this innovative approach is to ensure that more seniors get access to better homes.”

"As a medical professional by trade, I recognize the importance quality care can have on patient outcomes.  This funding will help ensure York residents are able to receive the best care possible in the comfort of their homes," said Dr. Gila Martow, MPP for Thornhill.

“Our province is investing up to $5 million to launch the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program, which will help seniors stay safe in the comfort of their homes and communities longer while awaiting long-term care,” said Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe. “Seniors can feel at ease knowing that the services provided by this program will complement the home and community care services they are currently receiving.”

“Today’s announcement means King-Vaughan residents will have improved access to care and the community support services they need,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan. “Community paramedicine helps patients get the right level of care, at the right time, reduces unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions. This program will also help seniors and patients in King-Vaughan with chronic conditions manage their conditions better and stay healthy.”

The program will be delivered through local paramedic services, providing:

  • Access to health services 24-7, through in-home and remote methods, such as online or virtual supports;
  • Home visits and in-home testing procedures;
  • Ongoing monitoring of changing or escalating conditions to prevent or reduce emergency incidents;
  • Additional education about healthy living or managing things like chronic diseases; and
  • Connections for participants and their families to home care and community supports.

Based on the experience in this first phase, the program may be expanded to additional communities interested in participating in a second phase of the program.

Additional Resources

For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)

For further information, click here