Sep 14, 2022
By Christine Ross
The Ford government has released the regulations for Bill 7, the law that could send some patients from a hospital into a long-term care home not of their choosing. Health Minister Sylvia Jones says if they refuse the location chosen for them, they face a daily $400 fee.
“So the fee is to have that very challenging conversation that the discharge planners will be having with families,” explained Jones. “We want to have a clear understanding that the bed needs to be for acute care patients and those conversations include, yes, we will need to charge if you refuse to take the long term care bed that we have found for you.”
Patients could be sent as far away as 150 kilometres from their home in northern Ontario and 70 kilometres in southern Ontario.
NDP health critic France Gélinas says Bill 7 removes rights for elderly patients.
“Now we’re adding with the regulations, that not only the right to be assessed has been taken away from you because you are frail and elderly, now we will be allowed to move you 150 kilometres away,” Gélinas told reporters.
Interim NDP Leader Peter Tabuns is holding a news conference Thursday morning to call for the immediate return of the legislature to address the province’s health care crisis. The legislature has adjourned until after the October municipal elections.
The province says couples will not be separated and that religious, ethnic and language preferences will be respected. The new rules kick in a week today, but the fines don’t start until November 20th.
The regulations are part of an effort to free up hospital beds amid a crisis in healthcare.