March 31st, 2021
Let's take care of our loved ones by removing profits from long-term care
St. John’s – Today, Jack Harris, MP for St. John’s East responded to a Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report on long term care. During the pandemic, families across the country lost loved ones living in long-term care centers. For-profit homes had much higher infection rates than non-profit and publicly owned homes.
“Canadians living and working in long-term care facilities got sick and died at much higher rates than other Canadians during the pandemic. The army had to be sent into some facilities to help the residents and staff.
“Here in Newfoundland and Labrador we were very lucky during the pandemic that the hardworking staff kept the virus out of our long-term care facilities,” said Harris. “However, the report shows that, here in our province, during the pandemic 15 more residents died than the five year average. We want to make sure that our long-term care system is able to meet challenges in the future and that our loved ones living in these facilities are living in comfort, security and dignity.
Last week the Liberals and Conservatives rejected an NDP plan to improve long-term care for seniors, their families and the workers who care for them by taking profit out of long-term care and advocating for national standards.
In addition to removing profit, the NDP will work collaboratively with residents, experts, caregivers, and provincial and territorial governments to develop national care standards for long-term care. These standards will include accountability mechanisms and data collection. We’ll also improve working conditions for front-line workers in the long-term care sector, boost wages and ensure workers are provided the training and resources they need to provide the high-quality care all seniors deserve.
“Justin Trudeau maintained cuts to the health care transfers to the provinces that were originally brought in by Stephen Harper. Now they’re refusing to improve the living and working conditions for people in long-term care. It doesn’t seem like the Liberal government is that interested in helping Newfoundlanders and Labradorians or their families,” said Harris.