ONTARIO PLANS TO HIRE NEARLY 200 MORE LONG-TERM CARE HOME INSPECTORS
Oct 26, 2021
By Bob Komsic
The Ford government says it plans to spend $20-million to double the number of nursing home inspectors while also allowing them to lay charges right on the spot.
Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips says the province will hire 193 by next fall; creating a ratio of one-inspector for every two-homes, ensuring there are enough to visit each home every year.
Some inspectors would come from investigative backgrounds such as in law enforcement.
The announcement comes ahead of legislation expected this week ”to protect residents through better accountability, enforcement and transparency, and enshrine residents’ rights.”
The government says the bill will include stronger enforcement and compliance tools ”to hold poor performing long-term care homes to account.”
Ontario Long Term-Care Association CEO Donna Duncan says in a statement, inspections are they’re currently carried out must change but cautions staff need to be supported.
”In the midst of a health human resources crisis, it is critically important to use a supportive tone and approach to inspections, and not drive staff away with pass/fail systems that diminish morale,” Duncan goes on to say.
AdvantAge Ontario, which represents non-profit homes, also wants more staff hired.
”More inspectors and tougher inspections will not have the intended impact if there are not enough staff and funding to take care of residents,” says CEO Lisa Levin.
”If inspections and punishment come before staffing and education, there is a risk the rest of the system will crash.”