TORONTO — Starting in 2022, Andrea Horwath will create 50,000 new long-term care spaces, ending the wait for home care and long-term care, and within eight years will make the entire system public and not-for-profit.
On Friday, Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, announced her plan for an overhaul of home care and long-term care in a new model built on small, family-like homes rather than institution-like facilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a disaster hiding behind the walls of Ontario’s long-term care homes. More than 1,870 residents have died, and thousands of families have been devastated,” said Horwath. “We have to take action now to make sure people are safe in nursing homes and during home-care visits throughout the second wave. And we have to overhaul the system to make sure this nightmare never happens again.”
Horwath’s plan is a comprehensive and detailed blueprint for an eight-year transition from a fragmented, privatized and poorly regulated system to well-regulated and well-staffed public and not-for-profit system.
“We’re going to help your parents live in their own home for longer. We’re going to get to work building nursing homes the right way – with small communities that feel like home. We’ve planned for better paid, better trained, full-time staff, so every resident can be guaranteed at least four hours of hands-on care each day. I’m promising to invest in care that is responsive to your parents’ culture and language, and to finally treat family caregivers as care partners, not just visitors,” said Horwath.
“And I’m promising to ban greedy corporations from the sector — so every last dollar goes into better care, and better living. Your parents deserve to be better off. No matter how much money is in their retirement fund.”
Conservative and Liberal governments have spent 30 years letting for-profit corporations take over. The result is care homes so short-staffed that residents are regularly neglected, and can get sick from dehydration and malnourishment while a revolving door of part-time and temp workers are run off their feet.
“These for-profit corporations warehouse seniors in institution-like facilities. They cut corners when it comes to staffing and care, in order to pocket bigger profits. And they are barely regulated or inspected. All while governments, including the Doug Ford government, try to save a buck by cutting funding, cutting inspections, and blocking public, judicial inquiries. Every year, the conditions get worse and worse,” said Horwath.
“Our plan includes record investments, dedicated to better care and better living for our parents and grandparents, and more peace of mind for their families.”
Read more about the plan here.