COVID-19 Investigation Commission | Ontario’s killer long-term care report

(Toronto) Ontario’s long-term care sector has been neglected and needs sweeping reforms to protect vulnerable residents, the independent commission says, pointing a finger at the report, sharply past and present governments over thousands of COVID-19 deaths in homes around the world. provinces.

Sean Jeffords and Nicole Thompson
Canadian press

Despite numerous reviews, commissions and requests in the past recommending improvements, the sector was completely unprepared for the pandemic, the COVID-19 Commission of Inquiry in Long-Term Nursing Homes said in a 322-page report submitted to the provincial government on Friday. evening.

Many of the problems that have plagued the industry for decades – chronic underfunding, severe staff shortages, outdated infrastructure and poor surveillance – have had fatal consequences for Ontario’s most vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Extract from the report

The province was unaware of the SARS outbreak in 2003, they said, and should heed expert advice this time.

“It’s time to rethink the LTC service delivery model and embrace a more efficient way to help the elderly in Ontario,” the report said.

Since the start of the pandemic, about 4,000 long-term patients and 11 employees have died from COVID-19.

The commission found that poorly designed premises and overcrowding led to an increase in morbidity and mortality in nursing homes.

The report says that severe staff shortages and staff poorly trained in infection control measures have exacerbated the situation.

The commission said new facilities should be built to meet the needs of the province’s aging population, adding that the government should also rethink the way these nursing homes operate with a focus on quality care.

New model

She proposed a new model for the construction of nursing homes in the future, similar to that used in private hospitals, courthouses and light rail systems.

“All of them involve the construction of prepaid infrastructure for private sector enterprises, which over time receives a return on its capital, including profits. However, in reality, the infrastructure is managed by other parties – courts, hospitals, etc. – when they are built, ”the message says.

The commission then proposes that a mission-oriented organization – government, nonprofit, or commercial – take care of the care of the residents.

The Commission has taken particular care of investor-owned nursing homes.

“Care should be the focus of the organizations responsible for nursing homes,” the commissioners said.

They also suggested that the provincial government – and DR David Williams, chief health officer, has been too slow to act based on new information about COVID-19.

The province was reluctant to admit that the virus was spreading in communities, that asymptomatic patients could transmit the virus, and that masks could help prevent it.

“Delays are fatal,” wrote the commissars.

Ontario established a commission on May 19, 2020 to determine what went wrong in nursing homes during the first wave of the pandemic.

At the time, residents of long-term care facilities accounted for about 1,400 of the 1904 COVID-19 deaths in the province. Five employees also died from COVID-19.

But even after the commission was launched – and after the publication of two sets of interim recommendations – the virus continued to infect objects.

The commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Frank Marrocco, heard the views of residents, staff and management of long-term care facilities.

She has interviewed government officials, from Mr Williams to Secretary of Long Term Care Merrily Fullerton to Secretary of Health Christine Elliott.

In total, according to the report, the commission heard more than 700 people.

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