Long-term care residents deserve better
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2020 (928 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Seniors and elders of Manitoba deserve the very best of care. In addition to massive COVID outbreaks in nursing homes, we have heard of seniors living with cockroaches, sitting in dirty clothes for hours and going without bathing for weeks while living in personal care homes (PCHs) in Manitoba.
Since the pandemic began, many Manitobans have sacrificed visiting their loved ones in PCHs across the province. They gave up this time — time they cannot get back with aging parents, grandparents, spouses, or friends — to protect people they love and care about. Unfortunately, while Manitoba families like yours have sacrificed so much, the Pallister government has not matched your commitment.
After years of inspections at various PCH facilities that documented aging buildings and facilities, rooms going uncleaned for weeks, and staff not receiving proper training, this government halted much-needed inspections during the pandemic. Brian Pallister and his government have failed in protecting our most vulnerable Manitobans and their families.
Through his austerity cuts to nursing, emergency rooms and CancerCare units, Pallister has weakened our health care system, putting us in a weak position leading into a pandemic. Instead of investing in health care — increasing intensive care beds, contact tracing, and testing capacity — he closed the ERs at Seven Oaks, Victoria, and Concordia hospitals, cut 18 ICU beds in his first term and 10 last year, and has closed CancerCare outpatient services at Seven Oaks with a planned closure at Concordia.
These cuts and closures mean people with urgent medical issues cannot receive life-saving care close to home and our ICU capacity is more stressed than ever. Nurses and health-care staff across Manitoba are overworked, burnt out, and working in fear of contracting COVID-19.
Manitoba families deserve better than spending every day worrying about their loved one in an PCH facility. The Premier needs to reverse the cuts that have devastated our health care system and ensure that all seniors and vulnerable people receive the high-dose flu vaccine free of charge.
We also need a seniors’ advocate so seniors and elders know someone will stand up for them. As the pandemic continues and flu season arrives, no Manitobans should be left behind, and that includes residents of personal care homes.
If you or a loved one would like to share your experiences, please contact my office at 204-945-3284 or email OLO@leg.gov.mb.ca.
Fort Rouge constituency report
Wab Kinew is the NDP MLA for Fort Rouge and leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party.