New measures would help ensure residents get the care they deserve
A News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government with Critical Replies from the province’s NDP Official Opposition Party and the Ontario Health Coalition
Posted October 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
TORONTO — The Ontario government is introducing legislation that would improve the well-being of residents in long-term care and retirement homes, and ensure they get the care they deserve.
If passed, the Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors, and Building More Beds Act, 2021 would repeal the current Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and create the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021. The Bill also includes proposed amendments to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010.
“Ontario has listened to the advice of the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission and the Auditor General — as well as residents, their families, the public and those working in the sector,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care. “After decades of neglect and underfunding by previous governments, we are fixing long-term care.
This legislation, if passed, would protect our progress by supporting our commitments to increase staffing for more hours of direct care, enhance accountability, and build more modern beds.”
The government has a plan to fix long-term care and to ensure Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care they need and deserve both now and in the future. The plan is built on three pillars: staffing and care; accountability, enforcement, and transparency; and building modern, safe, comfortable homes for seniors.
If the Bill is passed, the proposed Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 would support the government’s plan to fix long-term care by:
- establishing the commitment to provide an average of four hours of daily direct care per resident per day by March 31, 2025 strengthening the Residents’ Bill of Rights to align with the Ontario Human Rights Code
- and recognizing the role caregivers play in resident health and well-being implementing new requirements for annual resident, family, and caregiver surveys establishing new compliance and enforcement tools, including doubling the fines on the conviction of an offence under the proposed legislation introducing a Minister’s review of a Director’s decision in the licensing process.
COVID-19 has also been extremely difficult for people living in retirement homes, who have experienced isolation and loss of community and social connections due to the pandemic.
To improve the well-being of retirement home residents, the government is proposing legislative changes to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 that would, if passed, increase transparency and promote consumer choice and resident protection so that residents are better informed and benefit from a more effective Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.
“There are almost 60,000 Ontarians residing in retirement homes across this province and we want to ensure they get the best care possible,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “The Retirement Homes Act legislation, if passed, would ensure greater protection and better quality of care for residents and their families.”
The government will release its plan to protect Ontario’s progress against COVID-19 and for building the foundation for the province’s recovery and prosperity in the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review on Thursday, November 4.
Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following response to the Ford government’s proposed long-term care legislation.
STATEMENT, Oct. 28, 2021
Ford rewards bad actors, denies nursing home residents the change they deserve: NDP
QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following response to the Ford government’s proposed long-term care legislation:
“It’s shameful that Doug Ford is continuing to reward for-profit long-term care operators instead of taking the urgent action needed to improve the lives of seniors living in care.
Our precious parents and grandparents living in long-term care desperately need change. This bill does not change the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities. It does not give them more care.
It does not change the fact that for-profit companies can warehouse them in facilities, and cut corners to rake in more cash. This bill does not change jobs in long-term care to full time jobs with pay and benefits. It doesn’t even guarantee them the air conditioning they’ve been suffering without.
Doubling fines is fine – but $0 doubled is still $0. Doug Ford isn’t getting tough on bad actors — he’s emboldening the worst offenders with more public money.
Today, the Doug Ford government could be changing the quality of life and quality of care for our loved ones. They’re choosing not to.
Families deserve better. Residents deserve the dignity of four hours of hands-on care now. They deserve to live in small communities that feel like home. And they deserve to enjoy a good quality of life as they age. Staff deserve better-paid, full-time jobs. We can make all this happen, and we can make sure every dollar we invest in long-term care actually goes towards care by putting the entire system in public and not-profit hands. That’s what an NDP government will do.
To read a critical analysis from the Ontario Health Coalition, a province-wide advocacy group for quality health care, click on – https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/release-analysis-health-coalition-quick-initial-analysis-of-the-ford-governments-new-ltc-act/ ….
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