Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently announced a shuffle of his cabinet, with Honourable Stan Cho as the new Minister of Long-Term Care.
This is Ontario’s 4th long-term care minister in almost as many years.
CARP has been advocating strongly for a major culture change in Canada’s long-term care (LTC) homes.
CARP is pressing Stan Cho to take critical and meaningful action that will change long term care institutions into homes for the many older individuals in the province.
CARP demands since 2021 remain:
· Achieved — Immediate Action #1 Reinstitute unscheduled comprehensive inspections of all long-term care homes, with particular focus on infection prevention and control.
· Achieved — 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
During the first wave of the pandemic, 80% of all reported COVID-19 deaths were linked to LTC facilities. COVID-19 exposed the dreadful inadequacies in our long-term care, but the truth is that it had been broken for decades.
In CARP’s 35-plus year politically-impartial history, we had never publicly called for the resignation or dismissal of a single Federal or Provincial Cabinet Minister by name. Until the COVID-19 scandal in Ontario’s nursing homes.
At that time CARP launched a petition, calling on Premier Ford to fire Minister Fullerton. The petition was successful – over 8,000 signatures, over 2,000 individual comments.
In 2021, Ontario produced the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, with a fundamental principle to, “to provide a place where residents may live with dignity and security, safety and comfort and have their physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and cultural needs adequately met.”
CARP has continuously been calling on the Ford government to mandate and fund the ongoing transition of LTC from institutions to homes.
This shift places emotion-based care at the center of decision-making. Emotion-based care models work from a philosophy that cares for the whole person and creates a home. This respect also extends to staff, resulting in a remarkable 95% staff retention rate.
Positive models of care already exist in the province, such as The Eden Alternative, The Butterfly Approach, Hogeweyk Villages, and the Green House Project. Other homes, such as the municipal homes in Toronto, have opted to use a hybrid model.
Back in 2021 on National Seniors Day, CARP President Moses Znaimer and Chief Policy Officer, Bill VanGorder sent a welcome letter and call to action to then newly appointed Minister Rod Phillips. The letter was also shared with all Ontario M.P.P.’s and opposition party leaders with the key calls to action outlined above.
At that time, then Minister Phillips responded immediately to CARP’s letter and shortly thereafter made a number of legislative changes and investments toward Action Items # 1 and #2. We will push for further progress from Honourable Stan Cho.
Read more about CARP and long-term care in Canada