Aug 23, 2022
By Jane Brown
Two Liberal MPPs have joined senior care advocates and other critics in warning that planned changes to Ontario’s long term care sector are a fundamental violation of patient rights.
“It’s ageist. What’s happening is ageist,” implored Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser, “It’s almost like saying your rights, they don’t matter.”
Fraser held a news conference with with Don Valley East MPP, Dr. Adil Samji, who is also the Liberal health critic.
On Thursday, Long Term Care minister Paul Calandra introduced new legislation that, if passed, would allow hospitals to transfer patients awaiting a bed in their preferred LTC home to be placed in a “temporary” home after staff make so-called “reasonable efforts to obtain the patient’s consent.”
Bill 7, which is called More Beds, Better Care Act authorizes certain actions to be carried out without the consent of patients if an attending clinician deems they require “an alternate level of care.”
Dr. Samji says Bill 7 violates patient confidentiality, undermines patient autonomy, and forces healthcare workers to exploit power differentials.
“The only protection it offers to patients is the promise that restraints or physical force will not be utilized, and this is an incredibly low standard. The proposed bill even goes so far as to audaciously claim that it is not intended to violate the Patient Bill of Rights, but that it identifies the parts of the Bill of Rights that it violates and asks legislators not to count that as a violation,” Samji explained to reporters.
It was identified last week by the Ontario Hospital Association there are about 5800 patients now in hospital who could be sent to an alternate level of care if beds were available.