From the April 28, 2021 Club Action News Letter

May 3rd is the last day to sign & share the open letter ” in support of LTC standards and placing LTC under the Canada Health Act…”

Open Letter to the Minister of Seniors and the Minister of Health

From the April 28, 2021 Club Action News Letter

Re: Common Standards & Long-Term Care under the Canada Health Act

Dear Minister Schulte and Minister Hajdu

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed long-standing negligence, inadequate care, and a lack of preparation in many Canadian long-term care (LTC) residences. These deficits resulted in high infection rates among LTC residents and staff and contributed to thousands of preventable deaths. As Canada battles a third-wave of infections, we need our governments – federal and provincial – to work together to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned over the current situation for seniors and staff in long-term care facilities in Canada. We are calling for the establishment of common evidence-based standards that ensure all vulnerable Canadians can live in safety, comfort, and dignity and have access to high-quality, affordable long-term care. We are also calling on all levels of government to work together and create universal, accessible, regulated, respectful, and quality long-term care for the immediate and growing needs of elderly and vulnerable persons in Canada by extending the joint federal/provincial/territorial jurisdiction already in place under the Canada Health Act to cover long-term care.

In the 2020 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada recognized that the COVID pandemic quickly evolved into a national tragedy in Canada’s LTC homes. The Government acknowledged that “[e]lders deserve to be safe, respected, and live in dignity,” and committed to an ambitious agenda that supports national standards of care and taking action to help people stay in their homes longer. These life-saving actions, however, have yet to materialize. It is unacceptable that nearly 70% of all COVID deaths in Canada have been in LTC facilities, as of March 2021, the worst record among wealthy nations.

It is clear that national standards, increased funding directly tied to care, increased staffing, fair pay and improved working conditions, proper protective equipment, and the overall public provision of high-quality and safe long-term care, are the solutions. We implore you to act on implementing common standards of care, eliminating for-profit LTC homes, and follow through with the actions outlined in the Federal Government’s Throne Speech & Budget 2021. Please protect the rights, health, and safety of elderly persons and the vulnerable in Canada.

Yours sincerely,

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