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Ontarians waiting in hospital for prefered long-term care home may be placed in any LTC home temporarily

Posted: August 19, 2022

(August 18, 2022)

By: Alex Last, CHCH

The province unveiled its plan to stabilize the system and keep hospitals open. Part of the plan calls for patients in hospital who are waiting for a bed in long-term care (LTC), to be placed in any LTC facility with a room, while they wait for a spot to open up at their prefered long-term care home.

Some advocates and families are outraged about this proposed legislation advocates tell CHCH News that they believe this plan means some seniors will be moved without their consent, to care facilities that they don’t want to go to, with some ending up far from their home communities.

“The plan to stay open will ensure Ontarians continue to have access to the healthcare they need and deserve, and long-term care plays a critical role in our plan,” Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care Paul Calandra said.

Under the Ford government plan, hospital patients who don’t need to be there, but are waiting for a long-term care bed, will be placed in any long-term care home with space,
while they wait for a spot to open up at their preferred facility.

Calandra says investments in long-term care means the industry is in a position to accommodate the influx but advocates do not agree.

Long-term care expert Vivian Stamatopoulos says crippling staffing shortages, and nearly 200 ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks means the industry can’t take the added pressure.

Stamatopoulos also says the temporary move will become permanent for many seniors because of how difficult it would be for them to move again. She says that means many will end up in substandard places because those are the only facilities that have any room.

Natalie Mehra from the Ontario Health Coalition calls it a human rights violation and thinks it’s more about filling available for-profit LTC beds rather than fixing healthcare.

The plan worries people like Lisette Sayes from Hamilton whose father is waiting for a long-term care bed and relies on daily visits from her mother to help with his care. She wonders what would happen if he is sent far away.

The government is still figuring out how to decide which patients will be sent where.

Paul Calandra says no one will be forced to leave the hospital without their consent, but how that will be possible under this plan is very unclear.

LTC Association Advantage Ontario says seniors cannot be allowed to be treated as an afterthought.

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