"I just think this issue needs some serious attention from the government," says Melissa Pearson.
The union local leader has a family member at Rainycrest, where the province has been working with management on issues of non-compliance. A staff shortage across Ontario leaves companies looking for ways to improve service and meet the demand.
A media report released in January also expressed concerns about Birchwood Terrace. It said Birchwood was at the top of the list, when it came to reports of abuse between patients. Birchwood came second in the Marketplace report, when it came to reports of abuse between staff and residents.
In a short interview, a spokesman for Southbridge noted the company's zero-tolerance policy can sometimes mean an over-representation of incidents, as they try to err on the safe side. He added the definition of what constitutes abuse can also be wide-ranging.
Still, Pearson advocated for regulatory changes at Queen's Park.
"I think that government needs to make a serious commitment, where long-term care homes are concerned. Expecting a nurse or a staff is going to get somebody ready in six minutes is not going to happen," Pearson said.
Pearson was part of a town hall on public services in Kenora. Participants were also concerned about highway maintenance, LCBO and the sale of cannabis, as well as problems with the computerized system for social assistance payments.
Earlier this year, Queen's Park announced it is investing $187 million in 2018-2019 to improve access to hospital beds and reduce wait times in hospitals across the province. Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care says they will also be investing in more home and community care services, as well as more long-term care beds across the province.
The 2018 Ontario Budget doubled-down on the initiative, announcing funding for another 30,000 long-term care beds being created over the next 10 years, adding 5,000 new beds by 2022.
For more information: