March 30th, 2021
Record deaths in long-term care under the Liberal government
NDP Health Critic Don Davies issued the following statement:
“Today, the Canadian Institute for Health Information published data that reveals Canada has the worst record of all developed nations when it comes to COVID-19 deaths in long-term care homes. This follows previous reports that showed Canada’s death rate in settings where seniors lived and gathered together is the highest among all OECD states. It highlights that many other countries were better prepared for a potential outbreak of infectious disease and dedicated more resources and funding to this sector.
With some exceptions, the CIHI report notes that the lessons learned from the first wave of the pandemic did not lead to changes in outcomes during the second wave last fall, resulting in a larger number of outbreaks, infections and deaths.
This is inexcusable. Appropriate government action could have saved the lives of many Canadian seniors.
Certain provinces took early and effective steps to address the long-standing issues in long-term care. The government in British Columbia expanded resources to staff, prohibited working between multiple sites and raised standards of care. As a result of their leadership, BC had the best numbers of all comparable jurisdictions.
However, the crisis in long-term care and the urgent need for resources and legislative change is a national one. Seniors have a right to proper care in every province and territory, not just those fortunate enough to reside in select provinces who are responding to the problems.
This report clearly shows the need for urgent federal action to establish binding national standards in Canada’s long-term care sector, backed up by federal funding tied to meeting them as New Democrats have been calling for.
National problems require national solutions. It is time our federal government acted. Canadian seniors deserve it.”