Local group’s petition tops 3,600 signatures to fix long-term care

By Lindsay Advocate

Local group's petition tops 3,600 signatures to fix long-term care
From L to R: Lyn Ritchie, Bonnie Roe, Mike Perry, Susan Taylor in front of MPP Laurie Scott's office.

Members of the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes Long-Term Care Coalition presented a petition to local Member of Provincial Parliament, Laurie Scott’s office, in Lindsay. Scott was not available to meet with the coalition this summer.

The petition, signed by more than 3,600 residents from across Haliburton County and Kawartha Lakes, calls upon Scott to take their concerns to the new minister of long-term care, Rod Phillips, the minister of health, Christine Elliott and Premier Doug Ford, to find immediate solutions to the long-standing crisis in long-term care.

Coalition chair, Bonnie Roe of Haliburton, said “changes have been needed for a long time. We know what needs to be done, it’s about taking action now on very specific fixes.”

Five key areas for change were detailed in the petition, which was passed unanimously at a meeting of more than 50 local residents earlier this year. They are:

  • amend the Canada Health Act to include LTC, to ensure public funding and national standards;
  • provide at least four hours of direct care per day, per resident and improve working conditions for staff;
  • reinstate ‘spot’ quality, annual inspections and enforcement;
  • change the culture of care for our seniors – less institutional, more home like;
  • take the profits out of long-term care.

Coalition co-founder and Kawartha Lakes representative, Mike Perry, underscored local support for changes to local seniors’ care.

“We all have a stake in this together. Caring for our frail seniors is a matter of what we value as a community for the common good. We need to change the system now including helping care workers and families. This petition can be used with the powers-that-be to show how important this issue is here locally. It is top of mind,” Perry added.

Lyn Ritchie of Haliburton, who co-led in preparing the document, presented the petition formally to staff at Scott’s office, who thanked the coalition for its work.

The petition remains open for signature: www.ltcneedsyou.ca or call Mike Perry:  705.328.4479 or Bonnie Roe: 705.286.2414, to sign a paper copy.

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