FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2023
Statement by Michele Beaton on the state of long-term care on Prince Edward Island
The long-term care crisis we are facing is the result of successive Liberal and Conservative governments choosing to ignore seniors and their needs.
For more than three years the Official Opposition Green Caucus has been raising the concerns of Islanders and their families—as well as those employed in long-term care—about the issues leading to poor outcomes and death. In fact, last July Green MLAs were joined by grieving families who lost loved ones in long-term care to highlight the problems and to call for action from the King government.
Premier King and Health Minister Ernie Hudson chose to ignore families’ pleas for help.
Today we learned four of the ten private long-term care homes on Prince Edward Island operate under provisional licenses. This means they are unable to meet the standards of care required for our seniors. Seven of those homes have also failed to pass inspection standards at one point or another last year. This is unacceptable.
A lot of the problems experienced by private long-term care homes are rooted in how much money is provided by government and the accountability that comes with it. In fact private homes have been operating without a contract for the last two years.
Government has a responsibility to protect those living in long-term care. It is a disgrace that the King government has refused to renegotiate a contract. Soaring inflation is impacting every person and business, including those with a responsibility for providing care for our aging population.
Without a new contract, long-term care homes are unable to meet the existing standards of care required, let alone the new national standards released by the Heath Standard Organization last week. The poor care seniors are receiving is a policy decision of the Premier and his Health Minister.
Seniors on PEI are facing a long waitlist to access a long-term care bed. That list isn’t getting shorter. This is putting immense pressure on families, healthcare workers, and emergency rooms. It has a devastating health impact on seniors waiting for those beds that ripples throughout our entire healthcare system.
Islanders need the right healthcare, in the right place, when they need it. There are 42 Islanders who are not receiving the healthcare they need because they are in a hospital bed waiting for a long-term care bed.
During the time of the King government, there has been no investment in additional public long-term care beds.
More workers are needed in the system. This means more training programs are needed and government must remove any barriers preventing people from attending. In fact, solutions have been offered, but government is choosing to ignore them. For example, rural communities have been asking for RCW training programs for years. In Souris, Colville Manor has been facing systemic staffing challenges. They have been waiting since 2021 for an RCW course to help them.
The King government has made a decision to make a situation created by previous Liberal and Conservative administrations much worse than what it was. People are suffering and the King government has turned their back on them.
Michele Beaton, MLA Mermaid-Stratford
Official Opposition Green Critic for Health and Wellness
For media inquiries, please contact:
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Tel: (902) 213-0718