QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the Auditor General’s special report on Long-Term Care and COVID-19 preparedness:
“Today’s report from the Auditor General exposes the government’s lack of readiness in responding to COVID-19 in LTC homes and the deep, systemic issues the sector continues to face.
It confirms the dire situation of crowded rooms, lack of inspections, and unclear communication from the Ministry of Long-Term Care. It deeply saddens me that this is the way Ontario has decided to care for elders.
If we want an LTC system that actually works for people, we need to put care over profits and phase out private homes.
We also need to address the deep-rooted staffing issues that were exacerbated during COVID.
That means making pandemic pay permanent and tackling the equity issues that PSWs — who are disproportionately women of colour and immigrants — face, so they aren’t forced to work in multiple homes that are understaffed just to make ends meet.
And we need to provide a minimum standard of care of 4 hours for LTC residents now not in 4 years like Ford’s budget plans.
The humanitarian crisis that unfolded in LTC homes this past year could have been prevented.
The government owes it to elders to do better.”