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Long-term care protest targets MPP Jeff Yurek

Posted: October 6, 2021

(October 5, 2021)
By: 94.1 St Thomas Today
Long-term care protest targets MPP Jeff Yurek

Frustrated by broken promises and inaction on the state of long-term care homes in Ontario, members of the London Health Coalition again marched in front of MPP Jeff Yurek’s St. Thomas office over the noon hour Monday.

Co-chairman Peter Bergmanis said the province-wide protest targeted the Doug Ford government which he notes has done nothing of significance to increase care levels and staffing in long-term care homes.

Bergmanis adds the London group, part of the Ontario Health Coalition, is demanding enforcement of care standards through reinstatement of annual surprise inspections of long-term care homes and fines and loss of license for repeated non-compliance in long-term care homes.

He added there cannot be a repeat of the almost 4,000 deaths in long-term care homes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bergmanis says it is possible to have a systematic move to a not-for-profit model that would be less disruptive than what is happening at for-profit homes which he argues are “draining resources out of the public purse.”

He suggests the Ford government is financially bound to the for-profit care home sector.

And, the Ontario Health Coalition, wants the provincial government to repeal the act that shields long-term care home operators from negligence lawsuits.

Monday’s throne speech delivered by Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell stressed the avoidance of future lockdowns is the province’s “ultimate goal” as the pandemic enters a new phase.

The speech focused largely on what the government has done to support the health-care and long-term care systems during the pandemic, highlighting the need for more action but with few specifics.