January 30th, 2021

MPP Faisal Hassan hosts town hall on getting profits out of long-term care

York South—Weston MPP Faisal Hassan hosted a town hall discussion on the crisis in long-term care Thursday night, with a focus on the need to get profits out of the sector.

The town hall featured Official Opposition NDP Long-Term Care Critic MPP Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe) and Paula Randazzo from H.O.P.E 2220, which represents 3,000 long-term and retirement home workers across Ontario.

The panelists agreed that the for-profit model of caring for our elders in long-term care and retirement settings is proving to be an abject failure.

“When profit is the bottom line, quality of care for our seniors suffers,” Hassan said. “The Ford government’s promise of an iron ring around long-term care never materialized, and instead we see Ford pinching pennies on seniors’ care. We now have a second wave where thousands of seniors are suffering and dying, staff are under-resourced and run off their feet, and families are horrified at what is happening to their loved ones.”

“We know now that 3,400 residents have died and that our loved ones in for-profit care have a 78 per cent higher risk of dying than in a public setting,” said Randazzo. “For-profit staffing levels are close to 20 per cent less than publicly owned. Its’ time to take the profit out of care.”

Randazzo recounted stories from workers of being forced to work short-handed, with part-time, multi-home positions being the norm and residents not being able to have the personal care or proper nutrition they require.

Armstrong spoke to the struggles workers and residents have long faced and addressed her private member’s bill Time to Care Act, which calls for at least four hours a day of hands-on nursing and personal support services for each long-term care resident.

“The neglect of previous Liberal and Conservative governments hurts our most vulnerable seniors,” Hassan said. “The NDP has a plan to make long-term care public, hire thousands more personal support workers and give PSWs a raise, as well as ensuring their jobs are full-time. We need a public, non-profit system where every dollar goes directly to residents and not corporate profits.”

*Video of the town hall: https://fb.watch/3k9b9S78_6/