PANDEMIC WORSENS SHORTAGES AT LONG-TERM CARE HOMES: HEALTH COALITION
Posted: April 16, 2020
(April 15, 2020)
By: Teresinha Medeiros, AM800-News
Windsor Health Coalition Co-Chair Patrick Hannon speaks at a news conference on the shortage of PSWs in long-term care homes in Ontario. February 13, 2020 (Photo by AM800’s Teresinha Medeiros)
Officials at Windsor’s Health Coalition are saddened by the crisis taking place at long-term care homes across the province including Windsor-Essex.
There are more than 90 outbreaks across Ontario including six locally.
Coalition Co-Chair Patrick Hannon says the COVID-19 outbreak has just exacerbated the already shortcomings in long-term care homes.
“This pandemic has shown us exactly what advocacy groups, such as ourselves, and others have been saying for decades,” he says.
He says a lot of workers in long-term care homes are working part-time and need to have multiple jobs at different facilities in order to make ends meet.
Add a pandemic to the equation and Hannon says workers are having to choose which long-term care facility to work at, which makes the staffing situation worse.
“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised, I’m saddened but I’m not surprised,” he says. “The staffing levels for 20 years, the Ontario Health Coalition has been advocating for a minimum four hours of hands-on care per patient per day.”
Hannon says major investments are desperately needed in this sector of society.
“We can not cut down PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] to the a minimum amount required on a daily bases, this is what happens, people’s lives are lost.
Of the 16 deaths related to COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex, ten have taken place in long-term care or retirement homes.