TORONTO, May 24, 2022 /CNW/ - ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN, says that more than 4,400 residents living in long-term care died due to COVID-19 and tens of thousands more were infected. This cannot be forgotten or ignored when Ontarians cast their vote during this provincial election.
"I have heard little talk on the campaign trail from the PC party about what they would enact to ensure this never happens again," she says. "The Ford government's utter failure to protect the residents and staff in long-term care homes from COVID-19 is tragic and was preventable. A worse tragedy would be to have learned nothing and not promised substantive changes to ensure this doesn't happen again."
Hoy is available to comment on the positions of the provincial parties on long-term care, as well as on todays' announcement by the NDP commitment to roll back the Ford government's legislation that prevents residents and their families from suing long-term care corporations for negligence; deny license renewal applications from for-profit long-term care homes; review the approvals already granted by the Ford government; and to create a new legal fund to help long-term care residents' families to pursue justice.
"ONA has been urging governments for decades to make significant improvements to long-term care," says Hoy. "Yet there are ongoing and significant issues that seem to have been silenced during the election campaign. We know how staffing shortages and a lack of direct resident care, infection protection and control, accountability and enforcement and funding enabled COVID-19 to infect thousands of residents and staff. We also know that profit in long-term care is worse for resident outcomes. ONA will be unrelenting in our efforts to ensure homes are made safer."
ONA is urging voters to cast their ballots for candidates committed to keeping long-term care residents safe and well where they live, in addition to other measures in the context of public health care.
ONA has been tracking party commitments related to health care, which can be accessed online: https://www.ona.org/vote/.
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
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