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Ontario home care nurse writes about her frustration from the frontlines

Christina Blizzard, Queen’s Park Columnist, The Toronto Sun

After I reported on auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s recent scathing report on mismanagement in the health-care system, I received this heartfelt e-mail from a nurse whose name I’ve withheld. “I have been a nurse for almost 27 years, employed primarily in home care. The changes I’ve observed over the years make me shake my head. I used to LOVE my job. Every day I woke up thrilled to go to work but now, I dread it. I still enjoy the one-on-one interaction with my patients but the cuts have been severe and I’ve had to limit the amount of time and help I devote to my patients, and that goes against every reason why I became a nurse. The sad part is that these issues all started when our government allowed for-profit companies to bid on homecare contracts with the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). That was the worst decision they could have ever made. I didn’t have such issues when I worked for VON (Victoria Order of Nurses). The VON had been operating as a non-profit for over 100 years when this happened and somehow they lost out to numerous for-profit health agencies. Now the heads of those for-profits are making huge profits from ill Canadians. That’s not the way our healthcare system should operate! I’m sure Tommy Douglas is rolling over in his grave as this is not what he envisioned for universal health care in Canada. Patients are not put first, profits are.”

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Cops lose sight of justice?

Son confused why police don’t seem to care about the alleged abuse his mother has suffered

Simon Kent, The Saturday Sun

In pure legal terms, police feel they have nowhere to go with a prosecution. “On review of all the evidence collected it was our opinion that the investigation was lacking in criminal intent, one of the elements required for a charge of assault in the Criminal Code of Canada,” a spokesman for the police said. Still, the aggravated manner in which the feces-covered cloth is waved in the face of Camille Parent’s mother is hardly the look of a fond farewell. Her response to push it away shows to some observers that she was defending herself against the nurse. Then there is the image that has been released of the mother with an unexplained black eye that would cause many people to wonder just why police are so keen to tell the public there’s nothing to be seen here. Parent said “We are always told that the elderly are not alone, they should not fear being alone and somebody is always there to help them. “Well, here I have video evidence of my mother in peril yet nobody will listen to me. What do I have to do to get anyone to take action?”

Police won’t lay charges in elder abuse case

Brendan Wedley, The Saturday Sun

Police confirmed Friday they won’t be laying an assault charge in the St. Joseph’s at Fleming senior abuse scandal that was uncovered then the son of a resident, Camille Parent, placed a hidden camera in his mother’s room. “The investigation is lacking in criminal intent and therefore we will not be laying any criminal charges,” Peterborough Lakefield Police Inspector Larry Charmley said Friday. Police considered laying an assault charge against one of the four employees fired after the video was made public. The video showed the female employee roughly handling an 85-year-old who has Alzheimer’s and at one point shoving a feces-covered cloth in front of the resident’s face. After meeting with Charmley and a Crown attorney, Camille Parent suggested that the officials are playing with words by calling the actions abuse and not assault. “It’s almost as if we’re trying to sweep this under the rug” he said, “The abuse has got to stop and it starts with the law.”