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Long-term care needs more funding: report

Drew May, Ottawa Metro News

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has called on the province to increase funding to long-term care (LTC) residences ahead of next year’s provincial budget. In a report titled Time to Care, CUPE says LTC residences in Ottawa would require another 273 full-time health-care staff to meet a minimum standard of care for residents.  Bonnie Soucie, a registered practical nurse, said at the release of the report that the funding shortfall means residences are understaffed. “It takes longer for the residents to get fed and to provide any meals for them,” Soucie said. “There are appointments that get missed, there’s work that remains undone because there’s just not enough staff or hours in a day to do everything.” The report from CUPE says the problem of understaffing is cause by Ontario’s aging population and the provincial government’s plan to cut costs by removing patients from hospitals and putting them in LTC residences. David Jensen, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, said the wellbeing of long-term care residents is a top priority for the government. He said funding has increased almost $2 billion since 2003.