TORONTO, July 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Elizabeth Wettlaufer murders were terrible human tragedies and our heartfelt condolences go to the families of the victims, said the Ontario Health Coalition today on the occasion of the release of the report from Ontario's public inquiry into long-term care.
The Coalition, which has advocated for improved access to care and improved regulated levels of care, released the following briefing note in response to the Inquiry's report:
Briefing Note on Key Issues in Long-term Care + Public Inquiry Recommendations
"The report from the public inquiry into Ontario’s long-term care homes following the Elizabeth Wettlaufer murders highlights the need for systemic responses including improved staffing and care levels. The inquiry focused on nursing and therefore did not make recommendations regarding the full range of daily hands on care staff including personal support workers but its general thrust regarding the rising acuity of the residents and the need for improved staffing to meet those needs should be applied broadly to the daily hands on staff.
The Ontario Health Coalition's member organizations, including the patient/client advocacy groups, family councils, unions, health professionals and doctors have total consensus that the key issue in long-term care is the urgent need for improvement in daily hands on care. That the level of care should be a minimum average of 4-hours per resident per day, based on the evidence of what is needed to meet the acuity (complexity and heaviness) of the care needs of the residents.
"The Inquiry report recommendations were limited to the scope of the Inquiry, but still identified key issues of note that address longstanding problems in long-term care:
Today the Ford government did not make any clear commitment to implement the Inquiry recommendations, only to review them and report back in a year. The Ford government also announced this morning that it is going to delay significant cuts to Ontario’s long-term care homes by three months. Those cuts hit municipal long-term care homes particularly hard. But the Ford government did not cancel the cuts to the two special funds that amount to $34 million, they only delayed them for three months.
The cuts to the two funds outlined in an earlier news release are in addition to real dollar overall budget cuts for Ontario's long-term care sector and long-term care homes are reporting that they are looking at significant program and service cuts as a result.
For more information: Devorah Goldberg, research & campaign director, 647-631-8811 (cell), Natalie Mehra, executive director, 416-230-6402 (cell) 416-441-2502 (office).