January 12th, 2021

Liberal government must improve long-term care in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX-- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on long-term care residents in Nova Scotia and the Liberal government must improve conditions in long-term care facilities. The Standing Committee on Health will discuss long-term care at their monthly meeting this afternoon.

“Having experienced the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care residents and staff need to know they are a priority for the government and that necessary changes to infrastructure and staffing will be made,” said NDP Health spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “We know people need to be able to have a room of their own and we know the requirements for care time with each resident needs to be increased. Now we need the political will to make those changes.”

While numerous reports have called for enhanced staffing levels in long-term care for years the Liberal government has failed to increase the staffing ratios or build enough new nursing home beds to meet the need.

“While we’re waiting on the Liberal government to open a few dozen new beds in the province there are investments in staffing that could improve conditions for residents immediately,” said NDP Labour spokesperson Kendra Coombes. “We need more staff in nursing homes and those staff need better pay and working conditions. There is a huge amount of burnout and turnover with long-term care staff which leads to chronic staffing shortages.”

The NDP’s Care and Dignity Act would legislate that every resident receive a minimum of 4.1 hours of care each day.