Long-term Care Facilities Need More Workers, says Opposition

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The leader of the Official Opposition is calling on Prince Edward Island’s government to raise staffing in long-term and community care centers.

Peter Bevan-Baker brought up the issue in the legislature Wednesday. He said low staffing levels have been a problem at long-term care facilities across the region for years and want to see the administration establish and enforce staff-to-patient ratios.

Bevan-Baker said low staffing could cause high turnover rates and affect the care of people.

“Staff are overworked and underpaid — what we need is more staff, paid decent wages,” he said.

“Will this government mandate minimum staff-to-patient ratios or a minimum number of hours of personal care per resident to ensure that Island seniors live out their lives in dignity and safety?”

3.8 Hours of Care Per Day

The region does have an established policy that says every long-term care resident should receive 3.8 hours of care per day.

However, the Opposition says facilities are not meeting that threshold, and it is too low to start with. There was some talk surrounding long-term care staffing in the throne speech.

Health and Wellness Minister Ernie Hudson said nurses would be required to be added at private long-term care homes.

“I think as we move forward, yes we have to look at where the gaps maybe, where we can improve upon and move onward from there because as I said yesterday Mr. Speaker, there’s probably no demographic in our population that … we should be providing the support to than our seniors.”

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