Long-term care waiting lists will grow despite the addition of new beds: FAO

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TORONTO — Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says long-term care waiting lists will continue to grow even as the government plans to add 15,000 new beds.

The Financial Accountability Officer says waiting lists are projected to peak at 40,200 people next year, dropping to about 37,000 once the new beds come online in 2023-2024.

The FAO says the province’s aging population will outpace the growth rate of the new long-term care beds.

The government has allocated about half of its promised 15,000 beds and the watchdog says it is the most significant investment in long-term care beds in 15 years.

The expansion will cost $1.7 billion over the next five years, with on-going operational costs estimated at $970 million a year.

Even with the 15,000 new beds, the FAO says an additional 55,000 beds will be needed by 2033 to maintain the waiting lists near current levels.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2019.

The Canadian Press