A Record of Failure
What will it take to wake up the bureaucrats at Ontario's Ministry of Long-term care?
The second wave of COVID is here – and still we see disorganized, inadequate, negligent responses from the Ministry of Long Term Care.
Minister Fullerton must go.
When COVID-19 first hit, the effects on residents in long-term care homes was immediate…and devastating. Over 2,000 residents died in the first wave, amid evidence of inadequate staffing, lack of equipment and infection prevention measures, carelessness and neglect – conditions so terrible that the military had to be called in to manage some of the homes. Premier Ford expressed his outrage, and vowed to place an iron ring of safety around residents.
There were more than enough reasons to fire the Minister of Long Term Care even then.
But then, the first wave receded. Summer was here – the perfect opportunity for the Ministry to ramp up inspections, solidify safety measures, clear up communications channels and messages, and get ready to meet the second wave.
There were enough inspectors to physically check every single nursing home in the province. There was time to implement emergency recruiting of more staff. To show some urgency, some energy.
Instead, what did we get?
Some announcements about long term plans. Good ideas, to be fair – like more money to build and improve facilities, and a commitment to guarantee at least four hours of care per resident per day. (But not until 2025).
As for immediate needs and more urgent preventive measures…little or nothing.
So when the second wave hit, the case rates and death tolls started climbing again. And there were new horror stories, like Tendercare, with 73 deaths in just a few weeks, and new examples of the management of homes having to be taken over by others (North York General Hospital took over Tendercare).
Where were the inspectors during the summer? There actually was an inspection at Tendercare on December 16, where multiple problems were identified, including improper deployment of equipment and inadequate infection prevention. But inspectors had also been at Tendercare in August and October – couldn’t they have checked for covid readiness?
All through the covid crisis, the Minister of Long Term Care and her staff of highly-paid bureaucrats (the Deputy Minister makes over $200,000 a year) have been a day late, a step behind, a dollar short.
We need to make the bureaucrats sit up and take notice.
C.A.R.P. is a non-partisan organization, and we are proud of our record of working with all the major parties, welcoming their leaders to our events, and analyzing their performance in a non-political, objecive way. So we are normally very reluctant to call for the firing of a minister by name – in fact, we’ve never done it before in our 35-year history.
But desperate times call for desperate measures. And unfortunately, we know of no better way to wake up the sleeping bureaucrats at this Ministry.
If you agree, please sign our petition. And if you’re not already a member of C.A.R.P., please join and add your voice to our growing numbers.
Watch C.A.R.P.'s National Seniors Day event
Listen to the launch
C.A.R.P. joined Libby Znaimer this morning on ‘Fight Back’ to kick off our campaign calling for the Minister of Long-term Care to be fired.Listen now
C.A.R.P.'s new vision of care hits close to home
The numbers don’t lie—the vast majority of older people want to age in place.
So what’s stopping them?
Most seniors don’t have access to the supports and services they need to stay at home, forcing them into the long-term care facilities that have proven themselves grossly inadequate at best, and fatally dangerous at worst.
We know that. to keep our seniors safe, there’s no place like home.View our long-term care campaign
Canada’s Hidden Shame: How COVID-19 Exposed Years of Systemic Neglect in Long-Term Care
Long before COVID-19 began ravaging long-term care homes, the country’s most vulnerable seniors were suffering from years of systemic neglect.Read more