Ontario’s long-term care homes are closed today as a result of the withdrawal of most of the province’s critical care services. Ontario’s OCAP nurses union announced this morning that under the Ontario government’s unilateral decision it has withdrawn nursing aid for all residents as a result of the government’s failure to prioritize its patients.
This government decision to pull the plug on nursing services is shortsighted. Not only has this decision put Ontario’s nursing home residents at risk of disease progression and weakened their immune systems further, it is putting them in harm’s way. Some residents, we estimate, have up to 80 percent of their body fluids unavailable when they can least afford it. That is why nurses in the long-term care industry have always advocated for prioritizing care, to ensure that all residents are cared for and provide optimum care. That is why Ontario’s nurses in nursing homes are on strike.
After speaking with members and parents, we are now recommending nurses in all 17 long-term care homes withdraw all necessary nursing aid services as soon as possible. We are still hopeful that a negotiated settlement will be reached. But if that is not possible, we urge the government to reverse this callous decision and compensate residents for the forced withdrawal of nursing care services. Let’s give every resident the best care possible and those staff workers the pay raises they have been waiting for.
Meghan Hill, Nurse Position: