Feds seek public input on proposed long-term care safety legislation – National

The federal government is seeking public opinion on proposed legislation to improve safety in long-term care following the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2021 election campaign, the Liberal Party Nursing care safety lawThe spread of COVID-19 has drawn attention as many families are struggling to provide basic care to their residents.

The bill was also a condition of a supply and confidence agreement with the NDP, in which the New Democrats agreed to endorse the Liberals in the House’s major votes through 2025 in exchange for campaigning on shared priorities.

The office of Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos did not say when the government plans to introduce the bill, but it could be as early as this fall.

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The NDP said the Liberals were slow to act. Health commentator Don Davis said commercial nursing homes were among the worst in the country.

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“This is because they put profit margins above the quality of care seniors receive and the working conditions of their employees,” Davis said in a written statement.

“Worse still, these dire situations have been going on for a long time and were well known even before COVID-19.”

Earlier this year, two committees of experts in the field of long-term care announced new standards to improve health, safety and infection prevention in nursing homes.

The Health Standards Authority and CSA Group have developed standards that focus on resident-centred care, improved work environments, and improved data collection and accountability for housing quality and safety.

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It is not clear to what extent these standards will form the basis of new legislation or whether they will be enforced nationwide.

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The law could at least “reflect” the new standards, a government discussion paper said.

The document, which aims to inform public consultation, says the new law could “encourage” states and territories to adopt the standards.

Long-term care, like health care, is under the jurisdiction of the states and territories. As such, the federal government’s role in developing long-term care facility regulations has become much more limited, other than convening states for national debate or funding specific initiatives.

In the 2021 Budget, the government announced that it would share $3 billion with states and territories to improve long-term care conditions.

In the latest budget, the government has set aside $1.7 billion over five years for hourly wage increases for personal support workers, who provide the majority of bedside care in most homes.

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Upcoming legislation could include improvements to federal frameworks and long-term care plans, as well as data collection.

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For example, governments are seeking feedback on what information should be included in national public reports on long-term care.

The Ministry of Health has launched an online survey over the next two months to collect feedback from long-term care residents, their families and the general public.

Department officials will also host roundtables with experts and work with states and territories.

“All older people, regardless of where they live, have the right to live with dignity and expect safe long-term care when needed,” Duclos said in a statement.

“We encourage all Canadians to participate and share their views during the consultation period.”

© 2023 Canadian Press

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