DURHAM — The NDP MPP for Oshawa, Jennifer French, said residents in Durham Region have been waiting years for new long-term care beds to come online, and have been let down by successive governments promising beds that never materialized.
"I am hopeful that today's announcement by the Ford government results in the construction of new long-term care beds for our vulnerable seniors," French said. "It is critical that the facility planned at Lakeridge Health's Ajax Pickering Hospital site be backed up with investment in proper staffing and quality of care, including enhanced inspections and infection control.
"Durham Region is still grieving the tragic loss of 78 seniors at Orchard Villa, and we need to see not only the construction of beds, but new investment from the Ford government to ensure that seniors receive the highest quality of care."
The Ford government eliminated certain crucial long-term care inspections and remains 14,966 beds short of its commitment to build 15,000 new long-term care beds. According to the government’s own long-term care systems report, the number of beds built under its authority increased to just 78,800 in January 2020, up from 78,766 in July 2018.
As of January 2020, the wait list for people waiting to get into a long-term care home had 37,612 names on it. Earlier this month, the Ford government admitted it would not keep its promise of building 15,000 beds – which, itself, is a fraction of what’s needed.