Toronto’s ‘caveman’ neighbourhood is getting a boost as new health plan for seniors
A new health-care plan for older Toronto residents has been launched, aiming to reduce the cost of living and ensure access to quality care.
The plan will be launched on Wednesday by Health Minister Deb Matthews and will be a partnership between the City of Toronto and the City Health Services.
The program will be paid for by the province, which has also committed to providing up to $2.5 million over the next five years for the project.
“The new city health plan will provide affordable and quality health care to all seniors, with a focus on the needs of vulnerable residents, such as people with disabilities, the chronically ill and the physically challenged,” said Dr. Michael Smith, vice president of health at the City.
“This will be the largest investment of any city in the city’s history, and I’m proud that the City will get the opportunity to be a leader in this exciting new program.”
The program is being co-funded by the Ontario Government and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
The City is the lead beneficiary of $500,000.
The Ontario government has also pledged up to 50 per cent of the total cost.
“We are going to make sure that every person in the neighbourhood is well-equipped and has access to the best care possible, so that they can live a long and healthy life,” said Matthews.
“That is going to mean having the right access to care.
We will also provide better care for our older residents.”
A City Health spokesperson said the plan will cover everyone over the age of 65, regardless of where they live.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Health said the province has committed to supporting the city with up to 25 per cent funding for the program.
“The City Health plan is a big step in ensuring that people in the Toronto region can live comfortably in their homes, and it will deliver better quality of care to those who live in the most vulnerable communities,” said Jennifer Rolfes, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Minister of Health, Health and Long-Term Care.
“As a government committed to making a real difference in our community, the City is working closely with the provincial government to ensure that the health care we provide is truly comprehensive and effective, and that it is accessible to people who need it the most.”
The plan will include a new social housing component that will allow older people to live in smaller homes.
It will also offer more support for people who are homeless and low-income, with more money allocated for those who are unemployed.
“This will give older residents more choice and a better quality care,” said Matthew.
“And, it will help provide affordable housing for people of all income levels.”
The City has been working closely to ensure the plan is well managed and that the funding is used efficiently.
City Councillor Joe Mihevc, who has been vocal about the need for affordable housing, said the city has invested $1.5 billion in affordable housing in the past four years.
“We’ve invested a lot of money, and we are not spending it well,” said Mihevc.
“It’s a matter of time before we see the full impact of the plan, and what this means for older people.
“For many older residents, there are a number of barriers to access, such a lack of social supports, limited health care options, and access to low-cost and accessible housing.” “
The plan is designed to address the immediate challenges facing the elderly, such at the current vacancy rate in affordable rental housing,” said Rob Nicholson, the Director of Planning and Infrastructure, who is responsible for the City’s plan.
“For many older residents, there are a number of barriers to access, such a lack of social supports, limited health care options, and access to low-cost and accessible housing.”
“It is critical that the city is addressing these barriers to accessing affordable housing,” he said.
“I know that this plan is one of the many initiatives the City has undertaken to ensure everyone has access, whether they live in their home or in an assisted living facility.”
To find out more about the plan visit the City Health Website or call 311.
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