Is there a problem with the for-profit long-term care model?
Ontario is taking over temporary management of five more long-term care homes in the wake of a report that raised serious concerns on their handling of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Inspectors will undertake a rigorous inspection and monitoring of these homes for two weeks, Doug Ford, premier of Canada’s most populous province, said in a news briefing Wednesday.
“They will conduct in depth interviews with staff and residents, review charts and records and report back with their findings over the next 21 days,” Ford said in Toronto. “There’s going to be no stone unturned.”
Eatonville Care Centre, Hawthorne Place Care Centre, Altamont Care Community, Orchard Villa and Camilla Care Home, all located around Toronto, will move to provincial management. Sienna Senior Living Inc., based in Markham, manages Altamont and Camilla Care. Shares of the elderly care operator fell 4.8 per cent to $10.59 at 3:48 p.m. in Toronto. Extendicare Inc., another care company fell 3.9 per cent.
Ontario will also conduct further inspections on 13 other long-term care homes that are facing the greatest challenges in managing the pandemic, and conduct random spot checks over the next 30 days at homes across the province, Ford said.
On Tuesday, Ford described the situation at some of these facilities as “horrific” and “gut-wrenching” after a report by the Canadian military raised concerns about infection control, safety, staffing and care at five long-term care homes in Ontario.
“The results of our investigation will be turned over to the police,” Ford said Wednesday.
The premier will expedite an independent commission to look into the long-term care system after it became the center of the province’s Covid-19 outbreaks and said the province is “fully prepared” to take over more homes, if necessary.
“My message to all long-term care homes is: get your act together,” he said. “The commission will be independent of the government. It will be open and transparent. There’ll be hearings, they will call witnesses.” He added he would be a witness himself.
When asked if he expected any resignations as a result of the military report, Ford said he stands behind the Minister of Long Term Care Merrilee Fullerton “100 per cent.”
He reiterated he wouldn’t paint all care homes with “a broad brush.” According to the premier, there are 626 homes and close to 80 per cent haven’t been infected by the Covid-19.
Canada has reported 86,928 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,671 deaths. Ontario has 26,483 infections with 2,155 fatalities.