French rallies with frontline seniors care workers to stop cuts in Oshawa

OSHAWA – Oshawa NDP MPP Jennifer French attended an information picket Saturday with frontline health care workers concerned that planned cuts to hours of care at Thornton View Long-Term Care Home will further threaten the quality of care they can provide to Oshawa seniors.

The home, operated by Revera, plans to cut 105 patient care hours per week.

“Ontario has a wait list for long-term care that now tops 32,000 people. I hear horror stories every day of understaffing, no follow through when complaints are made to the government's ministry, poor-quality facilities and a lack of standards for the amount of direct care each resident is offered each day,” said French. “Cutting another 105 hours each week cut from the number of hours of care our seniors get in this home is really compounding what is already a major concern.

“We’re talking about whether seniors will get help to get dressed and brush their teeth. We’re talking about care hours needed to supervise residents at risk of falls, and feed residents who don’t have the ability to feed themselves. And we’re talking about whether someone is available to rush to a senior’s side when they need urgent help. These things matter. And we can do such much better to give our parents and grandparents the care they deserve.”

Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government have disappointed Ontarians when it comes to properly planning and investing in long-term care facilities. In 2007, the Liberal government promised to redevelop 35,000 long-term care beds by 2017. Today there are still 21,500 beds waiting for that redevelopment.

For months, Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP have been pushing the Wynne Liberals to conduct a broad, find-and-fix inquiry into the crisis in long-term care homes, including the wait list, funding, and standards and quality of care. That could be accomplished by expanding the current, narrow-scope inquiry into the murders committed in long-term care homes by Elizabeth Wettlaufer.

“We cannot allow these cuts to happen,” said French.