The recently tabled 2021-22 Provincial Budget seems to provide substantial and long overdue new funding for Long-Term Care, but it still fails to present a concerted plan of action on the real crisis in LTC in Nova Scotia in the short-term, and certainly, for the longer-term. An op-ed by Ian Johnson and Chris Parsons on behalf of Nova Scotians for Long-term Care Reform.
Judy Haiven: “Now McNeil and Dr Strang are screwing down the lid on long term care facilities so that Covid cannot creep in, but neither can the joy of living and the celebration of long lives lived. Relatives and long term care residents are demanding a loosening of restrictions and a respect that, so far, this government has not paid them.”
Tony Seed on the need for a full public inquiry into the Northwood deaths: “Governments give themselves arbitrary discretionary power to make all the decisions including who has the right to speak and be heard, and are negating the concerns, the experience, and the voice of the frontline workers who are protecting the people during this pandemic. No problem that society is facing can be solved in this way.”
Media release; Due to the secretive nature of the Northwood review, NSGEU President Jason MacLean has decided to not take part in the in the process.
The government’s proposed review of 53 Northwood deaths is designed to prevent workers, patients and their families, and Nova Scotians at large from speaking out and being heard publicly
The Nova Scotia Health Coalition is calling for Randy Delorey, Minister of Health and Wellness, to commit now to releasing the full report of the Northwood Long-Term Care Facility COVID-19 Quality-Improvement Committee to the public.
“We were short-staffed to begin with. Now it is a disaster,” says a Halifax long term care worker employed at three separate group homes, reflecting on the first COVID-19 wave. “Of course, when someone feels sick, it is important that they stay home. But nobody is there to replace them. The care responsibilities are falling on fewer and fewer of us. Everyone calls us heroes, but we don’t have a choice. This is our job.”
Richard Starr: “The theme of recent COVID-19 updates in Nova Scotia has been “opening up.” Opening up the economy and opening up society have been on the agenda. But opening up democracy – not so much. Indeed, the past week provided more evidence, if more is needed, of Premier McNeil’s disdain for the views of others.”
The coronavirus crisis is an absolute disaster for women in so many ways—work, income, personal safety, housing, family life. Judy Haiven takes a closer look.
Gary Burrill: We stand in admiration before the steadfast and herculean efforts which continue to be made at Northwood in the battle against the virus. And we call, when the clouds clear and the time is fitting, for an inquiry into long-term care and the pandemic–an inquiry not in search of culpability or accusation, but of understanding and improvement.