Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

October 22, 2007 15:05 ET

More Staff Needed Now - Stop Studying

We must have acceptable standards of care for the frail elderly made into law says Ontario Federation of Labour

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2007) - "The time for studying the staffing standards in long term care is over," said Terry Downey, OFL executive vice-president. "How many studies does the government have to see before it acts?" CBC marketplace (October 17) featured the escalation of patient violence and the chronic understaffing levels in nursing homes. "How many more times do these appalling and unconscionable conditions have to be exposed before the government stops studying the problem and starts hiring health care workers?"

On October 4, 2007 the OFL released a legal opinion that challenged the current practices and policies in long term care and called on the Provincial Government to protect the rights of elderly patients and provide them with sufficient and dignified care. The legal opinion written by Toronto lawyers Mary Cornish and Jo-Anne Pickel also reviewed the rights of health care workers to receive support and proper working conditions in order to provide quality care.

"The OFL's ongoing campaign Understaffed and Under Pressure has repeatedly brought to light what's really going on in long term care facilities," Downey said. The legal opinion exposed the fact that vulnerable seniors were forced to sit in urine-soaked diapers until the diaper was three quarters full. "The Federation has called for a staffing standard of 3.5 hours per day of nursing and personal care. We must provide adequate standards of care for the province's most vulnerable citizens. It should be enshrined in legislation and enforced."

/For further information: Terry Downey
OFL Executive Vice-President
416.578.3230 (cellular)/ IN: HEALTH, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS, OTHER

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