Information Bulletin- Nursing Home Asset Transfer

January 19, 2021

Who is GEM Health Care Group Ltd?
GEM Health Care Group Ltd. Is a large scale, family run business, specializing in seniors accommodations in Nova Scotia and beyond. GEM has been a leader in seniors’ accommodations over the past 41 years, commencing with a small Home in Amherst in 1979 and have now expanded to 14 Homes with approximately 2,200 employees and 1,200 residents across Nova Scotia in 12 locations. GEM currently operates various levels of senior’s care facilities throughout Nova Scotia and are a leader in transforming how health care is delivered to seniors. 
When did the Long-Term Care Homes in MODG transfer to GEM Health Care Group Ltd.? 
Milford Haven Home in Guysborough and the Canso Seaside Manor in Canso were transferred to GEM Health Care Group Ltd. on Tuesday, January 19th at 12:01 a.m. 

Why were residents of MODG not notified of the Municipality’s plans to transfer these Long-Term Care Homes to a specialized private operator, prior to the transfer? 
The detailed selection process and the negotiations required to transfer these homes to the most highly qualified, most reputable and experienced operator had to remain “Commercially Confidential” until the transfer was complete. Whereas the majority of funding for the operation of Long-Term Care facilities is provided by Department of Health and Wellness and numerous associated agencies it was also necessary to have all provincial-related approvals prior to notifying the public of this transfer. 

Why did the Municipality transfer these homes to a private operator? 
All health care in Nova Scotia is a provincial responsibility The Milford Haven Home for Special Care and Canso Seaside Manor were both constructed in the late 1980’s under a special program which required the Municipalities (Guysborough & Canso) to own the properties (land & buildings) and provide oversight of the operations through a local Home Board.  All funding for the operation of the Homes is controlled by the Province and whereas Long Term Care is significantly underfunded, these Homes have become dated and are in need of modernization. 
In 2012 with the dissolution of the former Town of Canso the Canso Seaside Manor transferred to the Municipality. At that time the legal and financial advisors strongly recommended that the Municipality look at divesting of both Homes. 
In 2018/2019 Council & the Home Board had a nearly impossible task accessing the necessary qualified staff, and at one point it was necessary to consider closing one wing of the Milford Haven Home in order to meet minimum staffing requirements. As a result of the need for expertise, the shortage of qualified Staff, the need for modernization, dramatic changes in the health care requirements and the unacceptable liabilities the Municipality determined it was in the best interest of Residents of the Homes, Employees of the Homes and Residents of the Municipality that the Homes be transferred to a highly qualified, specialized private senior’s accommodations provider.  

What are the financial implications of transferring the Homes to a private operator? 
The two Homes have been operated as “not-for-profit” facilities over the past 20+ years therefore no revenue was received from the budgets for these Homes by the Municipality. Operations at the Homes were/are funded, regulated and controlled by the Province as all Health Care is a provincial responsibility. 

Will all employment carry over with the transfer? 
Yes, all employment will remain unchanged and will transfer directly to GEM Healthcare. All employees will receive the same wage/benefits package that they currently receive.  

What are the benefits of the Homes being operated by a qualified private operator? 
The private operator selected has the expertise, experience, track record and access to the necessary qualified personnel, needed to operate Long Term Care facilities in these challenging times. 
GEM is a leader in providing senior’s accommodations in Nova Scotia and provide an opportunity for modernization and potentially expansion of these Homes. 
GEM has the expertise and access to necessary resources to operate these homes safely in these challenging times and are prepared for changing times in the future of Long-Term Care. 
GEM’s Vision statement is “Provide the best care, service and quality of life for our residents in a safe, dignified, home like environment. Continue to develop and expand through innovative strategies”