Accelerated Build Pilot Program Will Make New Beds Available within Months
AJAX — The Ontario government announced that a new long-term care home will be built at Lakeridge Health's Ajax Pickering Hospital site in months, not years. The project is part of the province's Accelerated Build Pilot Program. By working with Lakeridge Health and Infrastructure Ontario, the province intends to build up to 320 new long-term care beds by 2021 at this site.
The pilot program is part of the government's plan to create new long-term care beds across the province that include features such as air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms, beginning immediately. The pilot program was launched last week in Mississauga where 640 new beds will be built by 2021.
Details about the new project were provided today by Premier Doug Ford who was joined by Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, Sharon Cochran, Chair of the Lakeridge Health Board of Trustees, John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer for the Regional Municipality of Durham, and Shaun Collier, Mayor of Ajax.
"Government after government has failed to make the necessary investments in our long-term care homes and that ends now," said Premier Ford. "With our new modernized funding model and this innovative pilot program, we will get shovels in the ground faster on these critical projects and ensure more seniors get the quality care they deserve. I won't rest until every senior in Ontario has a safe and comfortable place to call home."
Through the use of hospital lands, and a range of accelerating measures such as modular construction and rapid procurement, the government and its partners are targeting completion of the project in 2021, years faster than the traditional timeline. Lakeridge Health will work with Infrastructure Ontario to manage the day-to-day construction oversight, monitor commissioning, and provide timely status reporting on progress.
"This project is a key step towards repairing the cracks in our long-term care system, addressing our growing waitlist, building healthier communities, and ending hallway health care," said Minister Fullerton. "Our government will continue to implement innovative ideas and modern solutions to provide our vulnerable seniors with a place to call home and the care they need."
Working together with long-term care and health system partners, Ontario continues to use innovative ideas and modern solutions to help end hallway health care and increase long-term care capacity in communities across the province.
On July 15, 2020, the government announced a modernized funding model to help accelerate the construction of urgently needed long-term care beds.
On July 21, 2020, the government launched the Accelerated Build Pilot Program, starting with two projects in partnership with Trillium Health Partners and Infrastructure Ontario to build up to 640 new long-term care beds in Mississauga by 2021.
The 320 long-term care beds in Ajax are in addition to the nearly 8,000 new beds announced on July 15, 2020 through the province’s modernized funding model.
Nearly 78,000 Ontario residents currently live in 626 long-term care homes across the province. More than 38,000 people are on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed (as of March 2020).
Between 2011 and 2018, there were 611 long-term care beds built across the province, less than one bed per home.