Long-term care homes want end to mandatory inspections

January 7, 2019
Article Source
Ottawa Citizen

Ontario's long-term care homes are pressing the Ontario government to get rid of mandatory annual inspections as part of its focus on cutting red tape.
Groups that represent the province's long-term care homes have long asked for an end to annual inspections for all long-term care homes and reducing regulations that they say place an undue burden on an already stressed sector. The head of one of two major organizations says she is optimistic the province is listening to those concerns.
It is a possibility that worries Jane Meadus, staff lawyer and the institutional advocate with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly. Regulations covering long-term care homes are there for a reason -- in some cases because of previous harm done to residents -- said Meadus.
"Inspecting long term care homes that provide care to vulnerable seniors is not red tape. It is something that is necessary."
Premier Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative government has already made some changes to the Long Term Care Homes Act as part of omnibus red tape legislation introduced in December, largely aimed at reducing the need for public consultation and making it easier to open temporary emergency beds.
Lisa Levin, chief executive of AdvantAge Ontario, which represents not-for-profit long-term care homes, said she is optimistic there will be changes to the inspection process in the upcoming budget.
Under the previous Liberal government, a new risk-based inspection system was introduced, meaning long-term care homes deemed higher risk are given more thorough annual inspections, although all homes are inspected every year.
"We have been hearing a lot of rumours that there is going to be fewer regulations and (the provincial government) is re-examining the situation."

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