July 21st, 2020

Investment in long-term care required as part of pandemic recovery plan

Halifax-- The NSNDP is calling on the Liberal government to prioritize renovations and new construction of long-term care facilities as an important part of economic recovery in response to COVID-19.

“We know that long-term care residents were the most affected by the pandemic in our province, and we must do everything possible to ensure we don’t repeat that experience during a second wave of COVID-19,” said NDP Health spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “We could make the investments we need now and create jobs at the same time to help Nova Scotians in the wake of the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.”

Renovation and construction of new public health infrastructure would increase employment and improve economic stability throughout recovery.

“We can’t leave seniors and other residents of long-term care behind when we think about recovery from COVID-19,” said NDP Seniors spokesperson Kendra Coombes. “We know that part of the problem at Northwood was multiple occupancy rooms. We could be making investments now to make sure that every nursing home resident has their own room.”

Investments should also be made to ensure facilities have staffing levels to match the needs of residents.

“This is a fact which, like so many, was true before and has been underlined by the pandemic: nursing homes need more staff,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Frontline workers’ unions, long-term care experts, seniors advocates, and our NDP Caucus have all been calling for increased staffing ratios for years. In response to the situation at Northwood and as a chance to create more jobs that are so clearly needed for our economy to thrive, this has to be part of Nova Scotia’s economic recovery plan.”

The NSNDP has called on the McNeil government to create an economic recovery task force in response to COVID-19.