LTC commission says nursing homes were neglected, sector needs reform — NewsAlert

03 Mai, 2021, 18:51 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • “There was no plan,” LTC COVID-19 commission say Ontario was not prepared

The commission found her ministry had "no plan" to protect residents from the coronavirus pandemic that eventually killed almost 4,000 people in its care.

"The responsibility - it's kind of like running into a burning building, you're trying to save it, and you're doing your very best, but the fire had started well beyond the pandemic", said Minister of Long-term Care Merrilee Fullerton.

Almost 4,000 long-term care residents and 11 staff have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit.

It says poor facility design and resident overcrowding heightened sickness and death in the nursing homes, with almost 4,000 residents and 11 staff dying of COVID-19 by the end of April.

The commission said new facilities should be built to address the needs of the province's aging population, and the government should reconsider how those nursing homes are managed by focusing on quality maintenance. "However, others actually operate the infrastructure - the courts, hospitals, etc. - once built", the report said. While we will examine the findings in more detail over the coming days, we strongly agree with the Commission's comments highlighting that owners should be involved in long-term care as part of their mission, rather than having motives that are driven by profit. The Commission is set to investigate how and why COVID-19 spread rapidly in long-term care homes, what was done to prevent the spread, and where the government should take further action.

The report provided a figure showing 13 of 15 long-term care homes with the highest number of resident deaths were for-profit entities.

Speaking ahead of the report's release on Friday, Premier Doug Ford said he wouldn't try to place the blame on previous governments.

"The question is not whether we are pleased with the report, because we are thrilled, but this time, will the government listen?" she said. "As noted, a pandemic is an inopportune time to create a nuanced, well-thought-out and thorough response plan".

In fact, they wrote, he only issued directives after consulting the deputy minister of health and the COVID-19 Command Table.

"The delay is awful", the commissioners wrote.

Proactive, comprehensive inspections: Another recommendation was that the Ministry of Long-Term Care conduct proactive, comprehensive, and annual inspections, and to respond to complaints and incidents reports in the required, legislated timelines.

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In some cases, the government acted without first consulting Williams or other public health experts.

Others said they would cry before and after shifts, vomit in lockers because of stress, and watch residents they loved die in great numbers.

"We need to make them a priority, they gave to us all their years, we now need to give back to them", said Dea.

For residents, the mental health consequences were akin to those faced by prisoners in solitary confinement, the commissioners said.

Crosses laid out on a lawn near the Camilla Care Community, a long-term care home in Mississauga, Ont., on May 13 2020.

Additionally, the Commission's call to promote and fund person-centred models of care, as well as increase care hours provided by allied health professionals above what is now being planned by the province, will go a long way to improve the quality of resident care. At that time five employees died due to COVID-19.

She said numerous report's recommendations align with steps the government has already taken, asserting the situation in the province's long-term care facilities has improved in recent months.

Ontario said 107,700 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Friday's report for a total of 5,247,684 shots given in the province. "Our long-term care system needs radical reform", said Coates. "And it was awful".

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the commission paints a picture of years of neglect in the sector followed by a series of bad choices made by the Ford government.

Fullerton said they did all they could as fast as they could, but it was not enough. "We need to act urgently on this report to ensure this never, ever happens again".

"It is plain and obvious that Ontario must develop, implement, and sustain long-term solutions for taking care of its elderly and preparing for a future pandemic".

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