Two new long-term care homes to be built in Mississauga

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On July 21, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Michelle DiEmanuele, President & CEO of Trillium Health Partners (THP), announced that two new long-term care homes will be constructed in Mississauga.  

The announcement comes months after THP announced that it was partnering with Heart House Hospice (HHH) to construct a new health centre at 2210 Speakman Drive in the Sheridan Park Corporate Centre.

"Last time we gathered, it was -19 and it was snowing. We announced a partnership with Heart House Hospice and said it would be the future site of a long-term care centre and hospice in Mississauga," DiEmanuele said. 

THP says the initial concept for the original development included one 220-bed long-term care home, a 10-bed residential hospice, and two health services buildings.

With today's announcement, the development will now feature two 320-bed long-term care homes (more than doubling the total beds to 640), one hospice, and one health services building. The province also announced that the new Accelerated Build Pilot Program will enable the construction of the two new long-term care homes in a matter of months, not years. 

THP says that on average, it takes 36 months to build a long-term care home once a site and financing have been secured. 

The province says that because of the pilot project, the homes will be completed by 2021.

The pilot program is part of the government’s plan to create new long-term care beds across the province and equip facilities with air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms.

“Our government won’t accept the status quo in long-term care. We made a commitment to seniors and their families to improve the quality of Ontario’s long-term care homes, and we intend to follow through,” said Ford. 

“Not only have we recently announced a plan to get shovels in the ground faster on over 120 long-term care projects in our pipeline, we are also exploring innovative partnerships to get more beds built sooner across the province starting with these two pilot projects in Mississauga.”

The province says THP will work with Infrastructure Ontario to manage the day-to-day construction oversight, monitor commissioning, and provide timely status reporting on progress.

DiEmanuele said the need for more long-term care homes is pronounced in Mississauga, where health care needs are growing faster than any other community. According to DiEmanuele, Mississauga has 20 per cent fewer long-term care beds per capita than the provincial average. 

According to THP, there are 4,560 people on the waitlist for placement in LTC home in Mississauga as of August 2019.
The health organization says the average wait time is 26 per cent longer than the provincial average and that Mississauga is the biggest community in the country without a residential hospice.

The province says that large urban centres such as Mississauga have a critical need for additional long-term care capacity, but are difficult to build in due to issues such as land availability and land cost. 

To overcome land availability and cost challenges, the homes will be built on land already owned by Trillium Health Partners.

“The pilot is bold and innovative and aims to ensure that more seniors get access to modern homes in a fraction of the time,” said Fullerton. “Between 2011 and 2018, just 600 beds were added to Ontario’s long-term care system -- that’s less than one bed per home. Our government intends to do better to meet the needs of our aging population.”

At the press conference, Crombie praised the project and said the city's elderly residents deserve better.

“Our seniors deserve nothing but the best and to age with dignity and grace. Today’s announcement is another exciting step forward in the development of much-needed long-term and palliative care in Mississauga," Crombie said. 

"This pandemic has highlighted the fractures that exist in our system and I want to thank the province for acting quickly to address them by fast-tracking this project. This new innovative health centre will meet the needs of our aging and growing population for decades to come.”

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