On National Seniors Day, October 1st, 2021, CARP President, Moses Znaimer and COO & Chief Policy Officer, Bill VanGorder penned a letter to Ontario’s new Minister of Long Term Care, Hon. Rod Phillips welcoming him to his new position back in Premier Doug Ford’s Cabinet. The letter was also shared with all Ontario M.P.P.’s and opposition party leaders.
Included in that welcome letter was a summary of the results of CARP’s successful campaign to replace Dr. Merrilee Fullerton in that portfolio and some of the thousands of heart felt responses received from loved ones who have experienced below-standard care in Ontario’s LTC institutions. The responses also highlighted the immense dissatisfaction with the province’s response to the pandemic and their failure to protect seniors in their care.
A call to immediate action on four key points that can be readily achieved and begin the important work necessary to ensure safe and dignified care for LTC residents is also included in that report:
Immediate Action #1 Reinstitute unscheduled comprehensive inspections of all long-term care homes, with particular focus on infection prevention and control.
Immediate Action #2 Create and enforce meaningful fines and other serious penalties for homes that fail the inspections.
Immediate Action #3 Immediately institute meaningful management changes at the Ministry. You have over 7,000 employees – what are they all doing? You have dozens of employees, at the ADM level and a Deputy Minister, who are earning six figures. Should they not be accountable for this record of incompetence, mismanagement and neglect?
Immediate Action #4 Move home and community care from the Ministry of Health to your Ministry. It would immediately demonstrate your understanding that the real key to long-term care is home care
On a positive note, Minister Phillips responded immediately, by telephone to CARP’s welcome letter and shortly thereafter made a number of announcements proposing legislative changes and investments toward Action Items # 1 and #2
A follow up meeting is now scheduled to speak face to face with the Minister, on behalf of our members, particularly the 8000 who signed our petition the thousands who shared their stories with us.