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Health coalition ‘day of action’ to fix long-term care

Posted: May 2, 2020

(May 1, 2020)

By: Colin Gowdy, BLACKBURNNEWS.COM

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / lisafx

The Sarnia-Lambton Health Coalition is calling on the province to continue to improve Ontario’s long-term care homes, even after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.

The local chapter is taking part in the Ontario Health Coalition’s “Day of Action to Fix Long-Term Care” Friday.

Chair Shirley Roebuck said COVID-19 has ripped the scab off an ugly problem in long-term care homes.

“Poor staffing, the poor wages, the lack of full-time work, and really the lack of time the PSWs [personal support workers] have in order to deliver quality care to our loved ones.”

Roebuck said the Ford government has improved testing, and its recent announcement to increase wages for front-line workers was a huge step forward, but she said that Ontarians need to make sure the wage increases become permanent and that the government addresses other systemic issues in long-term care.

Roebuck said many of the problems really arose because of the private-for-profit long-term care homes that have popped up across the province.

“60 per cent or more of all long-term care homes in Ontario are for-profit, and the businesses, their top priority is making money, it’s not looking after our loved ones,” she said. “We need to ensure that there are no new for-profit homes, they should increase staffing, and all residents should receive several hours of direct nursing care per day.”

Roebuck said a number of COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care homes in Sarnia-Lambton have been impacted by a lack of personal protective equipment and bad working conditions that arise from poor staffing and poor wages.

To get involved in Friday’s initiative, Roebuck is asking residents to go to the Ontario Health Coalition Facebook page where they can print a poster, take a picture of themselves with the poster, and then post it back on social media.

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