Ontario Liberal Party Proposes Immediate Action for Long-Term Care

Del Duca outlines recommendations for protecting patient and worker rights

Toronto, ON – June 23, 2020 – Steven Del Duca, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, called for long term care reform by announcing a new framework that residents and their families can count on to ensure their health and safety. Del Duca provided eight recommendations for how to move forward. He urged Premier Ford and Minister of Long-Term Care Fullerton, to commit to taking immediate steps to improve conditions for patients, personal support workers, and nurses.

Del Duca said, “Outrage about the number of deaths is not enough. Waiting for reports on the horrific conditions of the homes is not enough. We need to act now. We have to be truthful about what it means to age in Ontario so that every Ontarian is allowed to age with dignity.”

Steven Del Duca and the Ontario Liberal caucus are proposing seven immediate suggestions to better protect personal support workers (PSWs), nurses and the public:

  1. Raise the standard of care that is provided, including number of baths given and the quality of food that’s served;
  2. Bring back paid sick leave (Doug Ford eliminated the mandatory paid sick days brought forward by the previous Liberal government);
  3. Create a structure where PSWs and nurses are able to work in full time jobs earning a living wage;
  4. Hire as many PSWs and nurses across the province necessary to make sure seniors get the care they need;
  5. Provide access to personal protective equipment (PPE), regular testing, and mental health supports for PSWs and nurses and their families;
  6. All homes must be inspected in person twice a year, via unannounced visits. Infractions or violations by homes must be met with harsh financial penalties;
  7. Create an aggressive, thorough and publicly available rating system for Ontario’s long-term care homes.

This all must be undertaken in consultation organized labour and stakeholders across the province.

The sitting government has committed to a commission into long term care.

Del Duca continued, “I believe what’s required is a fully independent public inquiry. But at the very least, the government must ensure that the commission into long term care makes the terms of reference, findings, and recommendations public. It should include an examination of every group that influenced the situation during the crisis including for-profit care owners and the government.”

Looking ahead, all ideas should be based on protecting patient rights:

The Government must abide by the Residents Bill of Rights listed within the Long-Term Care Act – which already sets out minimum standards of care to include:

  • The right to be treated with dignity and to exercise self-determination;
  • The right to live in a caring environment free from abuse, mistreatment and neglect;
  • The right to receive personal care that accommodates physical, medical, emotional and social needs;
  • The right to be fully informed in advance of any changes to care plan or status of the nursing home;
  • The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.

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