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Peterborough letter: End for-profit long-term-care, bring in paid sick time

Posted: June 3, 2021

(June 2, 2021)

Roy Brady, Bonnie Kennedy, & Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas, The Peterborough Examiner

We are writing to bring your attention to an extremely important issue that has been exacerbated by a pandemic that has changed everything. This issue has been around for a long time and much has been promised but not delivered — time is against us. We request urgent action NOW.

Chronic underfunding and privatization of health care have had an increasingly negative impact, particularly in Long Term Care (LTC), as has been made painfully obvious during COVID. Decades of underfunding, understaffing, poor working conditions, high levels of violence and a focus on profits over quality care have eroded Canada’s system of LTC to the breaking point, leaving us tragically unprepared to protect the lives of our most vulnerable.

Four out of the five COVID-related deaths in Canada have been either residents or staff of LTC homes — the highest proportion in the world.

We support the recent call from Doctors for Justice who this past January called for the Province to implement the following measures, among others:

  • End for-profit Long Term Care homes.
  • Follow through on your promise to hire additional qualified staff without fast-tracking undertrained students or reducing qualifications.
  • Ensure all LTC residents receive at least the minimum four hours of direct hands-on care per day your government promised.
  • Set a minimum pay standard, consistent with the hospital sector, for front line LTC staff that includes not only personal support workers and other medical professionals, but also cleaning, food service and administrative staff.

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