The Ontario government is promising to establish a new standard that would see long-term care residents receive an average of four hours of direct care every day.
Premier Doug Ford make the announcement on Monday, with a pledge to have it achieved by 2024-2025.
Note: it will take 4 years to reach this goal. The government says tens of thousands of new PSWs and nurses will need to be hired. The province is recruiting an additional 3,700 frontline workers (announced late Sept) Quebec launched aggressive hiring plan for 10K in June
— Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) November 2, 2020
Currently, long-term care residents receive an average of 2.75 hours of direct care per day.
Health-care advocates and unions have long-pressed for a minimum four-hour standard of care to improve conditions in Ontario’s long-term care homes.
Earlier this month, the province’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission said Ontario must spend more money, on a permanent basis, so the homes can hire more personal support workers and nurses.
The commission — which is investigating how the novel coronavirus spread in the long-term care system — also said the province should implement its own staffing plan that came out of an inquiry into a serial-killing nurse who preyed upon nursing-home residents.
The province released that staffing study in July in response to the inquiry about Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a long-term care nurse who used severe staffing shortages to her advantage. She killed eight residents over nine years with lethal injections of insulin, often while working alone on the night shift.
That study recommended a minimum of four hours of direct care per resident per day.
Ontario’s New Democrats have introduced four private members’ bills, most recently last week, in a bid to secure the standard of care in nursing homes.
The NDP also included the care standard in the first plank of its 2022 election platform released last month.