August 18, 2022
Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario, released the following statement on the Ontario government’s Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery:
"Ontario’s not-for-profit, municipal and charitable long-term care homes are focused on caring for seniors and other vulnerable individuals. We cannot allow seniors to be treated as an afterthought.
The release of today’s Plan to Stay Open acknowledges there are system-wide problems that need to be fixed. This is a positive step. We applaud the planned measures to support additional recruitment of front-line health care workers into long-term care homes.
However, these measures will take time. More needs to be done before long-term care can be used to reduce pressures on hospitals.
Currently, staffing in the long-term care sector is at a crisis point. Our homes are stretched to the limit. We will continue to work with government to address the sector’s ongoing and existing labour shortages.
Recruitment and retention measures are critical. That is why there is an immediate need to repeal Bill 124, which prevents non-profit LTC homes from raising wages. The legislation has created a serious imbalance by causing staff to seek higher pay elsewhere in the health system and/or not working in non-profit long-term care to begin with.
Secondly, government should immediately put measures in place that prevent price gouging by temporary staffing agencies.
These two additional measures are easily within government’s grasp and can help put long-term care homes on a path to stability.
Furthermore, we are concerned about closing isolation beds when so many homes are in outbreak. Our residents are among the most vulnerable people in the province. We must ensure sufficient safeguards exist to protect those residents against COVID-19.
Our health care system is deeply interconnected. We cannot help one part of the sector by putting more stress on another part, especially one that is already in crisis. As we work on solutions to the current situation, we will need to pull together to offer coordinated, system-wide solutions. Home and community care, long-term care, hospitals, and other key elements must work together toward a collective goal.”
AdvantAge Ontario has been the trusted voice for not-for-profit senior care for over 100 years and is the only provincial association representing the full spectrum of the senior care continuum. Our more than 400 members are located across the province and include not-for-profit, charitable, municipal, and hospital-affiliated long-term care homes, seniors’ housing, assisted living in supportive housing, and community service agencies.
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