Chronic understaffing within Saskatchewan’s Long Term Care (LTC) facilities is creating unhealthy and unsafe senior’s homes, resulting in injury or worse to the residents.
In 2013, the Sask Party Government, in response to public criticism stemming from the poor shape of LTC facilities, created a $10 million urgent action fund. Unfortunately, the fund did little to increase the number of needed care providers. Many health regions that asked for money for more LTC staff received significantly fewer resources than requested, or were told to adjust their requests. Now, public criticism about staffing levels is increasing; the Ombudsman investigation into LTC also demonstrates the systemic crisis of unsafe staffing. Bottom line is that the motto “patient and family first” in LTC is just words, not action.
Care providers in the LTC sector have experienced increased workloads and decreased support, all in the name of cost savings. It is time for our government to ensure mandatory minimum care standards in LTC to prevent more tragedies from happening.
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