Ontario's Smitherman approves nursing home funds

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Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman, who recently offered to wear an adult diaper to better understand nursing home residents' experiences, has approved about $100 million (U.S) in funds to improve nursing home quality in his province.

The money, which will be disbursed over three years, will pay for an additional 4,500 personal support workers and nurses. It will also increase the amount of personal care time for each patient to three hours, according to Smitherman.

The Ontario nursing home industry, however, does not believe that these funds will significantly increase the amount of personal care time. It claims that the administration's calculations include funding for vacationing staff and social workers that don't provide hands-on care.