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Report warns of serious shortage of personal support workers across Ontario

Posted: January 31, 2020

(January 31, 2020)

By: Durham Radio News

A report from the Ontario Health Coalition has several recommendations on how the province should deal with a serious personal support worker (PSW) shortage.

The coalition and Unifor teamed up to hold round table meetings across the province to document the issue and get people’s thoughts on how to fix the problem.

They’re now taking the report on a cross-province tour and stopped in Oshawa this week to talk about how the crisis is impacting the community and the report’s recommendations.

Durham MPP Lindsey Park says the government is aware of the problem and working on it.

“Minister [Merrilee] Fullerton, who is our minister of long-term care, is currently developing a long term care staffing strategy she’s committed to implementing by the end of 2020,” said Park.

One of the report’s recommendations is to lower the tuition for people who study to be a PSW.

“We’re dedicating $4-million through the Personal Support Worker Education Fund to deliver more training opportunities for these front-line staff in long-term care to improve their skills and make sure we’re retaining that valued workforce,” added Park.

She also said there needs to a different approach to how PSWs are recruited and retained.

The report says many long-term care homes reported staff shortages nearly every day, noting weekends are worse. The shortage is also hitting rural areas even harder.

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