QUEEN’s PARK – With the auditor general’s warning that the increasing delays in critical-incident inspections can put nursing home residents at risk, PC Critic for Seniors and MPP Bill Walker has again called on the health minister to appear before the public inquiry into long-term care.
Walker says the growing backlog is unacceptable, especially in light of the high-profile cases of abuse and the public inquiry into murders in long-term care homes.
“Despite promises to fix the inspections backlog, we are not seeing the improvement - the backlog is up to 3,370 from 2,800 last year,” Walker says. “Families with loved ones in long-term care have a right to expect that the safety and care of their parents will be the government’s utmost priority. They want to see increased scrutiny.”
Walker pressed Health Minister Eric Hoskins in today’s Question Period to step up and give that scrutiny by testifying before the public inquiry into long-term care.
“Will the Minister address the lingering questions around the safety, security and well-being of seniors by appearing before the public inquiry?”
Walker says the minister’s refusal to answer the question and the auditor general’s findings about the increasing backlog are a sure sign that seniors’ safety and security are not a priority for the Liberal government.
“With only 30 per cent of the recommendations implemented from the 2015 auditor’s report and the 2003 Casa Verde inquest, Ontarians remain very concerned and skeptical that this government can ever be trusted to take corrective action,” Walker says. “The public inquiry’s purpose is to investigate and ultimately restore confidence and trust in the long-term-care system. As such, it is imperative that the minister appear before this inquiry.”