Long-Term Care Report to Help Improve Residents’ Lives: ONA urges province to act quickly, implement key recommendations

July 31, 2019

TORONTO, July 31, 2019 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) says that life for the province’s long-term care residents could improve if the provincial government and stakeholders implement key recommendations in the Long-Term Care Public Inquiry Report, authored by the Honourable Eileen E. Gillese.

“The Commissioner has heard and agreed with ONA’s belief that systemic issues demand a systemic response,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “As front-line registered nurses, we have been calling for more RNs, more RPNs and improved funding for decades. With the thoughtful recommendations in this report, we have the opportunity to improve life for our vulnerable residents.”

McKenna also says that she hopes that the families and friends of the victims find comfort in the fact that something positive may come from this tragedy.

Among the 91 recommendations is that the provincial government conduct a study on the appropriate staffing levels in long-term care homes on the day, evening and night shifts, and table the report in the legislation by July 31, 2020.

“ONA will be pleased to partner with government and our nursing stakeholder organizations – Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario, and the College of Nurses of Ontario – to advance the work on this study,” says McKenna.

She notes that there is nothing to prevent the government from moving forward as soon as possible and adjust as necessary, following the release of the study a year from now.

“We urge the province to put a renewed focus on regulated staffing levels now,” says McKenna. “This report is a positive roadmap to improving long-term care, and as the Commissioner notes, it forces us as a society to decide if we are willing to make the financial investments necessary to improve the safety and security of older Ontarians, and the quality of their lives.”

ONA is the union representing more than 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

For more information:
Sheree Bond (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; shereeb@ona.org
Melanie Levenson (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369; melaniel@ona.org