The sad and tragic state of some of Canada’s long term care homes, long warned about, has finally come to light.
When the military was called in to help out with severe staff shortages caused by the coronavirus in several of these residences in Ontario and Quebec, they found deplorable conditions. The military released reports on conditions they found in Ontario institutions on Tuesday, and in Quebec institutions on Wednesday.
Their reports this week found severe lapses in medical hygiene, but also bug infestations- cockroaches, to rotten food, lack of care leaving some in soiled clothes and bedding for long periods and even cases of verbal and physical abuse of residents.
After expressing the revelations “heartbreaking’, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said effective immediately the five residences mentioned in the report will come under provincial control. The situation at the sixth location has apparently stabilised. On Monday the province had ordered two other such facilities to come under hospital control.
On the Ontario government website Ford is quoted saying, “I made a commitment to our long-term care residents and their families that there would be accountability and justice after receiving the military’s heart-breaking report on the state of five of our homes.”.
The companies running the five controversial residence also operate another 80 of the provinces approximately 630 such long term care and residence institutions in the province.
An independent commission into the effect of the pandemic on long term care homes was to begin in September but that has now been moved forward to July. It will involve public hearings, witnesses, and examine public reports
Premier Ford said that although there had been annual inspections in the past, the residences named in the report will be subject to future rigorous and expanded inspections, including an inspector staying in the residence for two weeks at a time to observe and note operations and function.
In announcing the government plans yesterday, Ford added that inspections of such homes across the province would also be increased, “ “We are going to do surprise inspections right across the province, so my message to all long term care homes is to get your act together.”
He has also suggested that following investigations, charges could be laid against management. He also said the province was “fully prepared” to take over more institutions if need be and/or revoke operating licences.
Ontario has requested the military continue its help at the residences until at least June 12, while in Quebec a request has been made for soldiers to remain until September.
additional information -sources
- Ontario Government statement
- CBC: May 27/20: Ontario taking over 5 long-term care homes following ‘gut wrenching’ military report
- PostMedia: R Tumulty: May 27/20: Companies managing trouble Ontario long-term care homes run dozens more, make millions in profits
- CP24: C.Fox: May 26/20: “I think it’s disgusting’ Ford says a military details dozens of issues at five Ontario long-term care homes (includes like to military report)
- Globe and Mail: May 27/20: Ontario to take control of five long-term care homes after military report citing neglect, abuse
- Global News: J.Patton: Premier Ford says Ontario to take over 5 more long-term care homes in GTA