Long-term care minister won’t say sorry for Ontario’s ‘slow and reactive’ COVID-19 response


A horror report in Ontario refused to apologize for what it said “Slow and reactive” In response to the deadly threat of COVID-19 in nursing homes, long-term care minister Marile Fullerton says she “did not expect a 100-year pandemic against an unknown virus.”

Fullerton, in his first public comments, blamed previous governments for the poor state of the nursing home system as commissioned last summer by the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission – Premier Doug Ford. final report Friday night.

“We were trying to move fast for the government and COVID-19 was moving fast,” the former family physician said at a news conference on Monday, fixing problems in long-term care and speed decision-making Promised to do.

“I think, as a society collectively, we need to do some soul-searching and understand why it took an epidemic to address capacity issues in long-term care, staffing issues in long-term care,” Fullerton Replied that he would issue an apology to thousands of families devastated by the defeat.

“People’s life would not have gone in vain. This should be the tipping point. “

The commission found that “important decisions came too late” and that an “inadequate” emergency response system made nursing homes more vulnerable, paving the way for a “parade of illness and death” than they had to offer, leading to nearly 4,000 Residents and a second wave were killed. More deadly than before.

Those late decisions included mask mandates for nursing homes, slow recognition of signs by people not showing signs of the virus, and a 12-day delay in receiving it. Military medical team The most difficult nursing home after Fullerton noted for the first time that he was needed.

The report marked 26 residents who died in a nursing home – not from COVID-19, but “from dehydration and lack of staff for their care … they died when all they needed was water and Wiped down. “

Fullerton would not comment when she knew that residents were being neglected, but could become “war zones” in admitted homes.

“My heart goes out to all those who have been affected. It was a war … Our long-term care homes were on the front lines. “

Green leader Mike Shreren said Fullerton missed the mark by not acknowledging the government’s failures.

“Forgiveness is necessary … It starts with taking accountability,” he said, adding that his plan to provide four hours of hands-on care by 2025 by hiring thousands more nurses and personal support staff in the province To accelerate.

Fullerton would not commit to following the Commission’s 85 recommendations to better prepare nursing homes for the next pandemic or infectious disease outbreak, but said some are already being implemented – such as hospitals. With better links and better infection prevention and control.

“Many of the recommendations require further investigation and I will provide regular public updates on our progress,” he said, adding that some restrictions on nursing home residents could be relaxed later this week .

New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath said Fullerton’s response and disregard of responsibility remains a “lack of urgency” that the Ford administration has shown in fighting COVID-19, such as the slow pace of sanctions that allowed the third wave to halt Granted.

“The government’s failure was obvious.”

Ontario is leading the elections next June and the campaign is set to begin exactly one year from now, with caretaker advocate Vivian Stamatopolous saying “I just pray that this is a big electoral issue.” “

“We are still at all lower staffing levels,” she said. “The only thing that improves nursing homes is the COVID-19 mortality rate and it is only due to vaccines.”

Fullerton cannot say whether low-paid private aid workers who do resident care, such as toileting, feeding, dressing, and grooming, can experts permanently recommend in the report that the sector has more wooing methods and slower highs To be reported as rates. Of attraction.

She encouraged nursing homes to provide staff and counseling, and residents were traumatized by situations such as residents being left in dirty diapers and malnourished for hours or days, and staff without proper personal protective equipment. The deceased residents have to zip in the bag.

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But despite the Commission’s recommendation for nursing homes, there is no requirement that each facility “bears the cost of this consultation … no part of that cost should be passed on to residents and employees.”

Horwath reiterated his call for a full public inquiry into long-term care, stating that much of the commission’s work was conducted privately. He noted that it had been provided with documents to plead for extensions rejected by Fullerton before the government had sufficient time to go properly and release the report last winter.

Schreyer went one step further, saying a full public inquiry is also needed to see how the Ford government has handled the entire epidemic, not only in nursing homes.

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