Disappointing response: No government commitment to Safe Long-Term Care Act
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has made no commitment to bring about a Safe Long-Term Care Act, despite it being an important pledge during last year’s election campaign.
In a letter responding to the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC), a ministry official reiterated the government’s commitment of $3-billion in Budget 2021 to support provinces and territories and ensure long-term-care standards are applied and permanent changes are made.
In February, CHC members urged the Minister to fulfil the Liberals’ 2021 election campaign promise to develop legislation with national standards for long-term care that is funded – and enforceable.
“The next federal budget will be an important opportunity to fulfil your government’s election promise to work collaboratively with provinces and territories to support seniors and long-term care through an investment of $9-billion over five years,” said the letter from CHC Chairperson Pauline Worsfold, RN and the presidents of member organizations.
In response, the Health Ministry’s letter said, “The Federal Government collaborates with the provinces and territories to improve the quality and availability of long-term care, and to support the training of personal support workers and offer them better salaries.”
The CHC letter was signed by leaders of the Canadian Labour Congress, Unifor, CUPE National, United Steelworkers, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, the Council of Canadians, the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada, UFCW 175&633, the BC Health Coalition, and expert Dr. Joel Lexchin, a CHC Board member.
“People in Canada deserve equal access to quality care and quality working conditions,” said Worsfold. “We need the government to move forward with developing national, enforceable standards through a Safe Long-Term Care Act, including removing for-profit companies from long-term care.”