(June 10, 2013 - Richmond Hill, ON) SEIU Healthcare, Canada’s largest healthcare union, welcomed today’s announcement by Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews to reinstate annual inspections for long-term care facilities.
"These inspections, in order to get a true picture of what goes on in these homes, must be unannounced, surprise inspections," said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare. “This is an important part of pulling back the curtain on what goes on inside nursing homes and increasing transparency and accountability."
“Letting the CEO’s of for-profit nursing home chains police themselves is like letting the fox mind the hen house, and was not working," she added, welcoming the commitment of 100 new inspectors.
"A key question we will need to answer next is: if an inspector identifies staffing shortages as part of the problem, how will these gaps be fixed? So far we have not seen a plan for ensuring we will have adequate staffing to care for growing numbers of seniors," concluded Stewart.
SEIU Healthcare has been calling on the Ontario government to develop a long-term action plan that meets the needs of a growing aging population.