The Manitoba Government has made an additional $7.7 million available to personal care homes as they continue generating extra expenses in their fight against COVID-19.

“We told personal care operators and others to focus their efforts on helping to protect Manitobans – that patient care should be their first priority and not financial considerations,” says Health, Seniors, and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen.

Early this year, the province asked all regional health authorities to document their COVID-19 expenditures, separating the data by personal care home operators and community-funded agencies. Friesen says this newly announced funding follows a promise his government made to reimburse such entities for unexpected expenses resulting from the virus.

Costs eligible for this financial compensation include those connected to staffing, enhanced cleaning procedures, and the move to the one-site model, which means that PCH staff will only work at that particular PCH, where in the past staff have worked at different PCHs on different days.

“Protecting our seniors and vulnerable residents has been a priority of government since the start of the pandemic,” notes Friesen. “We gave notice early on that we [would] provide this funding, ensuring front-line services weren’t affected financially, and we are pleased to now be making these payments.”

The leader of the NDP opposition, Wab Kinew, isn't impressed, however.

“This funding, which works out to a meagre $50,000 per facility, is an indictment of just how little the PCs invested in care homes for staffing and PPE between March and September,” says Kinew.

“We saw in October and November the terrible toll that lack of preparation exacted on our seniors. Our loved ones deserve better from this government."