Fixing long-term care in Ontario is looking increasingly hopeless: André Picard
2021-05-03 from theglobeandmail.com
The 322-page final report of Ontario’s Long-Term Care Commission was released at 7:18 p.m. on Friday night – the political equivalent of taking a shovel, digging a deep hole and burying it.
Then, on Monday morning, the province delivered another slap in the face to Ontario’s elders when Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton offered up a mealy-mouthed response to the report, featuring such gems as “fixing the problem will take many solutions.”
There is nothing surprising or new in the report, though that’s not a knock on the commissioners. It’s hard to come up with anything groundbreaking when more than 150 reports have been written since the advent of medicare about how to fix the hellishly inadequate long-term care system.
There was nothing unexpected in the government’s response, either. Blaming previous governments for all failings and making vague commitments to do something, sometime – that’s all standard political fare.
But at some point, politicians have to stop commissioning reports that they intend to send directly to the dumpster and start implementing the long-overdue and eminently sensible recommendations therein.
The latest report – which the authors didn’t even bother gracing with a catchy title such as “Now Is The Time” – features 85 recommendations. They are centred around three points: care homes are hard-pressed to offer decent care because they are chronically understaffed; the infrastructure is horribly outdated and inadequate; and inspection and regulation of homes is a joke.
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