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Ontario long-term care operators could face fines for non-compliance

File photo. Image credit: Keith Brofsky/Digital Vision via Getty Images.

Operators of long-term care homes in Ontario could soon be fined for failing to comply with rules and regulations.

The Liberal government says it will introduce legislation and regulatory amendments early this year to strengthen the quality and safety inspection program by enacting financial penalties.

The auditor general recommended in 2015 that Ontario introduce fines to deal with operators that repeatedly violate the Long-Term Care Homes Act.

She found that in the previous year, 78 homes had failed to comply with at least one order, and many of those orders were in key risk areas, but the ministry had no plans to deal with repeated non-compliance.

The proposed changes would also give the minister authority to suspend an operator’s licence, establish new offences such as failing to protect residents, and allow the health minister to give long-term care homes directives on improvements in care, such as skin and wound care best practices.

The government says that the “vast majority” of long-term care homes comply with rules and regulations, Ontario needs more tools to ensure all operators address concerns.