Ontario's LTC-focused paramedicine program expands to London, Ont., area

The provincial government announced Tuesday that it will be investing $5,950,200 to expand its long-term care-focused community paramedicine program to the London, Ont., region.

Officials say the funds will allow for more seniors to live in the comfort of their own homes for longer.

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Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek announced the funding Tuesday alongside Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services Authority chief Neal Roberts, Middlesex County warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson, and Lambton-Kent Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton.

“Roberts would be coordinating that, working in coordination with the LHIN and of course the hospital as well, to find those folks who need that extra monitoring,” Yurek explained to Global News.

The first phase of the program was announced in October for five communities: Brant County, Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board, the City of Ottawa, Renfrew County and York Region and Yurek says that was based on a pilot project in Huron-Bruce.

“This is what’s grown out of it. It’s shown to be a true benefit, giving those people the extra supports they need to keep them safe at home,” he said.

“Without a program such as this, there’s not the spaces in long-term care. Some of these folks end up being in the hospital, taking up a bed at the hospital. That’s not necessarily best for their own condition and takes away a bed from someone else.”

The program involves local paramedic services providing:

  • 24/7 access to health services through in-home and remote methods
  • non-emergency home visits and in-home testing procedures
  • ongoing monitoring of changing/escalating conditions to prevent/reduce emergency incidents
  • additional education about healthy living or managing chronic diseases
  • connecting participants and their families to home care and community supports

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“The community paramedicine program provides our seniors, their families and caregivers peace of mind while waiting for a long-term care space,” long-term care minister Dr. Merrilee Fullerton said in a statement.

“Expanding the program across the province means that more of our loved ones can access services from their own homes, potentially even delaying the need for long-term care, while still providing the quality care and service they need and deserve.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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