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Ontario's Long Term Care Crisis

Endoresed in:

December, 2022

Paper Type:

Position Paper

Authors:

  • Zahra Haq (Queen’s University)
  • Da Hye Kim (Queen’s University)
  • Niveditha Pattathil (Queen’s University)
  • Maia Shen (McMaster University)
  • Tania Kazi (McMaster University)
  • Daniel Tamburri (Western University) 
  • Sabrin Sanjanai (Western University)
  • Mateen Noori (Western University) 
  • Karam Elsolh (McMaster University)
  • Jianhan Wu (McMaster University)
  • Edward Cui (Queen’s University)
  • Sinthu Senthillmohan (University of Toronto)
  • Abeera Shahid (University of Ottawa)

Background:

Ontario’s long-term care (LTC) system provides adults with healthcare and assisted living services when they require access to 24-hour nursing and personal care services. These long-term care facilities are often identified under various names across the province, and can be referred to as nursing homes, continuing care facilities and residential care homes. It has been well established that for many decades now, the LTC system in Ontario has been overburdened, and this has only been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic (1). As the Canadian population continues to age, and more demand is placed on already limited resources, a robust and sustainable remodeling of LTC facilities in Ontario is needed to improve health outcomes for Ontario’ present and future LTC residents.

Recommendations:

  • That Home Care Services be provided with increased funding and staffing to service more individuals and lessen the strain on LTC facilities, including providing living wages to staff, improving staff working conditions, increasing the amount of funding to home care, and increasing the proportion of funding going to Home Care services.
  • That the Ontario government commit to urgently address unsafe working conditions in LTC by increasing and promoting equal pay, improving working conditions and providing better oversight over LTC staff.
  • That the Ontario government mandates comprehensive socio-demographic data collection as it pertains to waitlists/wait times across LTC.
  • That the Ontario government improve LTC access by increasing the percentage of beds for basic care above the 40% minimum.
  • That the Ontario Government improve LTC resident quality of care by legalizing adequate staffing ratios and providing access for ethno-culturally specific avenues of care in all LTC facilities.
  • That the Ontario government and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care aim to increase the amount of publicly funded and administered long-term care facilities due to the better evidence surrounding publicly administered LTCs with the aim of removing all privately administered long term care homes.
  • That the Ontario government repeal Bill 7.
  • That all undergraduate medical schools provide mandatory curricula about the administration and functioning of LTC facilities in their region, and call for mandatory pre-clerkship LTC medical student involvement, whether that be in the form of shadowing or longitudinal clinical exposures.
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