HAMILTON — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the NDP fully supports recommendations brought forward by the Doctors for Justice in Long-Term Care, thanking them for their advocacy for seniors amid the COVID-19 pandemic and vowing to get profits out of care starting in 2022.
The group, which brings together 215 doctors and researchers, released nine recommendations Tuesday morning, including hiring qualified staff, speeding up vaccinations, dispatching the military to hard-hit homes and getting for-profit corporations out of the long-term care sector.
“I’m grateful to these doctors and researchers for coming together to advocate for seniors,” said Horwath. “Long-term care residents and their loved ones have endured agony, incredible sorrow, and tragic loss during this pandemic.
“The Ford government has dragged its heels and taken half-measures in long-term care. There are billions of dollars available to the government that are not being spent because Mr. Ford doesn’t want to spend it. He is refusing offers of military aid in long-term care homes struggling with horrible COVID-19 outbreaks. And he’s protected for-profit corporations — allowing them to put their bottom line ahead of the care and quality of life of seniors. It’s time for an overhaul to stop the terrible living conditions and preventable deaths.”
Horwath’s plan to overhaul long-term care, Aging Ontarians Deserve the Best, commits to better paid, full-time work for personal support workers, getting for-profit corporations out of long-term care, and building 50,000 new beds in smaller, more home-like care communities.
“The NDP fully supports the recommendations of the Doctors for Long-Term Care, and I am urging Mr. Ford to act on them immediately to protect the people who live and work in long-term care,” said Horwath. “If I were premier today, I would hire thousands of PSWs, speed up vaccinations in long-term care, and wouldn’t hesitate to send the military in to shore up hard-hit homes.
“People are more resolved than ever to fix the care and quality of life our parents and grandparents receive as they age. If these changes aren’t made now, I can tell you that we’re going to run on our commitments in next year’s election, and make the changes Ontarians need to see to protect generations to come.”