Seniors, other clients with complex care needs and their families are benefiting from increased staffing levels at residential-care facilities as a result of the investment of $55 million from B.C.'s revised residential-care rate structure revenues and one-time funding for infrastructure.
Revenues of $45 million from the first year of the revised residential-care rate structure and additional funds allocated from health authority global budgets have allowed health authorities to increase residential-care staffing, which health authorities estimate will result in more than 1,000 full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions by the end of fiscal 2011-12. Staffing increases include professional and non-professional staff such as nurses, residential care aides, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.
The goal of these investments was to improve the overall levels of staffing in residential-care facilities throughout the province. Additional investments were made in staff education, specialized services (such as palliative care) and equipment to increase safety and quality of care. The ministry has posted its 'year one' analysis of the reinvestment in residential-care revenue at: www.seniorsbc.ca/documents/pdf/residential_reinvestment.pdf
The publication of this information builds on the Province's commitment, as part of the seniors' action plan announced in February 2012, to provide clear information to British Columbians through public reporting of information related to publicly funded care facilities.
In January 2010, the Province introduced a more equitable rate structure for residential-care clients to reduce the burden on low-income residents and support ongoing improvements to the residential-care system.
Residential care provides 24-hour nursing supervision, personal care and therapeutic recreation programs to more than 40,000 British Columbians with complex care needs. Residents are cared for by a nursing team and these care sites are home to these residents. Residents receive full coverage of health-care costs, most prescription medication, routine medical supplies and equipment, as well as some over-the-counter drugs.
In addition, the Ministry of Health announced a further $9.7 million in one-time funding to health authorities in 2011-12 for improvements to infrastructure at contracted residential facilities across British Columbia. The focus of the funding will be for building repairs, improvements for patient security, e.g., dementia patients, and equipment such as ceiling lifts.
Minister of Health Michael de Jong -
"This new rate structure has added more fairness for seniors and their families, helping us better protect our lowest-income residential-care clients, and it has generated revenues, which are directly benefiting all patients in the residential-care system through significant staffing increases at facilities in every region of the province."
- Total estimated two-year FTE increase by health authority:
- Fraser Health - 388
- Interior Health - 250
- Northern Health - 43
- Vancouver Coastal - 236
- Vancouver Island Health Authority - 126
- Total increase for all health authorities - 1,043
- In December 2011, the Province announced an increase in the minimum monthly disposal income amount for residential-care clients, meaning that as of Feb. 1, 2012, all residents will be left with at least $325 a month to cover personal expenses, up from the current $275.
- As of Feb. 1, 2012, residential-care rates range from $932 a month to a maximum of $3,022.
- The cost of operating a residential-care bed is estimated to be $6,000 a month.
- Since 2001, the estimated total health-sector capital investment in modernizing residential care is estimated to be more than $1 billion.
- Funding breakdown for $9.7 million in infrastructure improvements by health authority:
- Fraser Health - $2.8 million
- Interior Health - $1.8 million
- Northern Health - $0.4 million
- Vancouver Coastal - $2.8 million
- Vancouver Island Health Authority - $1.9 million
- Total increase - $9.7 million
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)