Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance and Mississauga South MPP recently announced the provincial government’s plan to award 320 new long-term care beds in Mississauga through a new partnership between Indus Community Services, Trillium Health Partners, and Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.

The announcement is part of a commitment to build 5,000 new long-term care beds by 2022 and more than 30,000 new beds over the next decade.

“Our government is improving health care in Mississauga and throughout Ontario by increasing the number of long-term care beds in our communities,” said Sousa. “This investment will help alleviate wait times and provide better access to high-quality, culturally-appropriate professional care for seniors across the province.”

In anticipation of the number of seniors in Mississauga set to triple by 2031, the plan serves to address challenges with both the region’s long-term care capacity and transitional care. With more than 30 per cent of the city’s population comprised of individuals from the Chinese, Asian and South Asian communities, a core focus of the new centre is to provide culturally appropriate care to these groups.

“Mississauga is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “We are also home to an aging population that deserves access to high-quality, culturally appropriate health care.”

The partnership brings together three dominant players in Ontario’s healthcare industry and will benefit from each organization’s expertise. Indus Community Services is an accredited, not-for-profit community benefit organization with almost 33 years of experience as the leading provider of health programs and services for frail and at-risk South Asian seniors. Trillium Health Partners is one of the largest community-based hospital systems in Canada and serves the growing and diverse populations of Mississauga, West Toronto and surrounding communities. Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, established almost 25 years ago, is Ontario’s largest non-profit long-term care home operator, serving more than 15,000 individuals in Chinese and Asian communities across the Greater Toronto Area.

The new long-term care home will also have 64 transitional beds to reduce the number of alternate level of care patients waiting in hospital and community services to keep seniors healthy at home.

“Seniors are the fastest growing population in Ontario and often spend time waiting in hospital for long-term care in the community,” said Kathryn Hayward-Murray Trillium Health Partners chief nursing executive and senior vice-president, patient care services. “In order to meet current and future health care needs in Mississauga, we are embarking on a truly unique partnership that leverages the rich diversity of our community and will allow every resident to age in a way that is truly meaningful to them.”

The partnership will also conduct research, provide education and train new health care providers, as well as test new, innovative approaches to long-term care.

The process of identifying a site for the new long-term care home and community hub is underway, with expected completion by 2022.