Wednesday, 21 August 2019
Healthcare Media release

Media release: Ontario tragic nursing home deaths could happen here

The ACE (Advocates for the Care of the Elderly) Team is very concerned that the eight tragic killings of nursing home residents by Elizabeth Wettlaufer could be repeated outside of Ontario, including Nova Scotia. The ACE Team was responding to the release of the final report and recommendations of the Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System on July 31.

According to ACE Team Chair, Gary MacLeod: “This comprehensive report shows how the long-term care system across Canada has what the Public Inquiry called “systemic vulnerabilities” that make it possible for that tragic situation to take place in other jurisdictions, especially with understaffing and underfunding.  We must not allow this to happen.”

Mr. MacLeod noted that long-term care in Nova Scotia has similar issues, and as the Public Inquiry Report noted, “Systemic issues demand systemic responses”.

“Here in Nova Scotia,” he said, “We had the Expert Advisory Panel on Long Term Care which issued its final report on January 15.   While the Minister of Health and Wellness indicated that the government accepted the intent of its recommendations, we still don’t know what they have been doing to implement these recommendations, especially those related to staffing.  After six months, this is completely unacceptable. He also noted that since 2006, there have been various commitments by successive governments of every political stripe in Nova Scotia to develop and implement a five-year strategy. “Instead, what we have seen is a lot more talk about doing nothing”.

MacLeod concluded:  “At the very least, Health and Wellness Minister Delorey should commit to reporting on their progress towards implementing the Expert Advisory Panel’s recommendations, and to convening a broad meeting of stakeholders and interested members of the public to discuss the implications of the Ontario Public Inquiry Report.”

The ACE Team was started in 2006. It is composed of concerned family members who are appalled by the deteriorating quality of care in nursing homes, and who want to improve the overall standard of living for the elderly.

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For more information, contact Gary MacLeod, Chair, ACE Team, ablegrafix1@ns.sympatico.ca

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