Ford Must Answer for Long Term Care Negligence

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Ontario please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus

TORONTO – Steven Del Duca, Ontario Liberal Party Leader, made the following statement:

Today we learned Ontario comprehensively inspected just five of 626 long term care homes in all of 2019. This is absolutely astounding.

The effects of Ford cuts, on public health, on long term care home inspections, and in the healthcare system in general are truly being seen during this pandemic.

Sadly, the Ford government is asleep at the switch when it comes to protecting Ontario’s seniors.

This morning, I called for the government to prohibit staff who test positive for covid-19 from working in long term care and retirement facilities. It is incredible that weeks into this crisis I had to make that request.

Doug Ford has undermined the safety of our long term care and retirement homes and is now perplexed why the system is riddled with problems.

The Minister of Long Term Care went along with it every step of the way.

I am here to support all leaders during this crisis but I will not stand for band aid solutions that are lazy and cost lives. We have watched other provinces like British Columbia address this nearly a month ago. Where was Ontario?

Why was this government telling us things were fine when they were not?

How is that we have been at 50% of our lab capacity for almost three weeks and we have just started testing in long term care and retirement homes?

Accountability needs to be maintained.

We should have been testing the most vulnerable from the very start.

It’s time for the government to get serious about fighting this crisis:

  • Issue clear directives to long term care homes about testing.
  • Formally change the testing guidelines so that all staff and residents can be tested.
  • Implement an immediate strategy to separate COVID-19 residents from non-COVID-19 residents and segregate the staff that attends to them.
  • Invest in the regular comprehensive testing of long term care and retirement facilities so we protect our seniors always.

These are clear things the province must do now.


Timeline:

March 24 – Del Duca calls for all long term care (LTC) staff to be tested

March 26 – BC bans LTC staff from working at more than one facility

March 30 – Del Duca calls for LTC workers to be given a $4/hour increase so they can work at just one facility

March 30 – Del Duca calls for foreign-trained professionals to be engaged and when appropriate to complement staff at LTC facilities

March 30 – Ford announces ‘iron ring of protection’ for seniors in LTC, but allows workers who test positive for covid19 to continue working. Workers still allowed to work at multiple facilities

April 14 – After spread of COVID-19 at LTC facilities, Ford limits LTC staff from working at more than one facility

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