MPP Fraser responds to Ford government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan
OTTAWA – Today Ottawa South MPP John Fraser, Liberal Health & Long-Term Care critic released the following statement:
Today’s announcement represents a small step forward in achieving a 4-hour standard of hands on care per resident per day that the Ford government committed to repeatedly in the legislature.
The Ford government would have been closer to achieving this goal earlier than 2024-25 if they had not halted the investments and measures that were in place when they came to office two years ago.
The plan does not address long-term care staff wage improvements or make the PSW pandemic pay wage increases, set to expire in March, permanent.
Today 140 homes are in outbreak. Clearly, there is a brush fire raging through Ontario’s long-term care homes. We have seen that once the virus enters a home, it can easily get out of control.
Sadly, not all lessons learned during the first wave in long-term care homes are being implemented.
That’s why the Ford government’s own Long-Term Care Commission has released two interim reports, outlining recommendations that must be implemented immediately to protect residents.
These recommendations include but are not limited to:
- Ensure every LTC homes has a dedicated IPAC lead who monitors and ensures compliance with proper protocols, also provides basic prevention control training to staff
- Provide COVID-19 positive residents the option to transfer to an alternate setting to avoid transmission of the virus and help them recover. This requires health partners and homes to have proactive plans in place to quickly move residents in the event of an outbreak.
- Identify a clear lead for quality of care in every LTC home. This person must be on-site every day in a full-time position and held accountable for resident quality of care
- Reinstate annual Resident Quality Inspections (RQIs) for all LTC homes and require all reactive inspections occurring during the pandemic to include IPAC Program reviews
- The government only completed 27 RQI inspections out of 626 homes last year
The government’s staffing plan is a long-term investment that will only be successful if all the LTC Commission recommendations are addressed, and quickly.