Nearly 300 Ontario patients moved to LTC homes they didn't choose

TORONTO — Nearly 300 people in Ontario have been moved from hospitals to long−term care homes not of their choosing under a law the government implemented a little over a year ago.

The law can see those patients placed in homes up to 70 kilometres away — or 150 kilometres if they are in northern Ontario — without their consent and requires hospitals to charge them $400 a day if they refuse the transfer.

It is aimed at moving so−called alternate level of care patients, who can be discharged from hospital but need a long−term care bed and don’t yet have one in order to free up hospital space.

If there are no spaces available in long−term care homes a patient has put on their preferred list, they can instead be transferred to a home selected by a placement co−ordinator at the hospital.

The Ministry of Long−Term Care has not previously publicly disclosed the numbers of patients moved under those new rules, but Minister Stan Cho’s office now confirms to The Canadian Press that 293 alternate level of care patients were admitted to homes they didn’t choose between September 2022 and January of this year.

Cho says he wants people to be able to age comfortably in long−term care homes, not in hospital beds, and the law is both helping people to get more appropriate care and freeing up acute care space in hospitals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024.

The Canadian Press