Statement from Karla Bernard on the Delay of the COVID-19 Long-Term Care Review Report and the Need for Accountability in Long-Term Care on PEI

Charlottetown, PE - Today we finally saw the release of the long-delayed COVID-19 Long-Term Care Review report, a report that significantly impacts Island seniors, their families, and healthcare workers. The report, and its delay, raise questions about government's commitment to the well-being of Island seniors, as well as government’s ability to implement and enforce provincial and national long-term care standards.

Why the Delay?

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the challenges and concerns about long-term care homes across Canada. In February 2022, Premier King announced that a review of PEI’s long-term care homes would be completed by early 2023. In July 2022, the PEI Green Caucus held a news conference where grieving families shared their heartbreaking stories and called for public inquiry into long-term care on PEI. Government ignored that call and now almost a year late, the review’s report has finally been released. Why did it take so long to make this vital information available to the public? Timely access to this information is crucial for the well-being of seniors and this delay has caused unwarranted anxiety and uncertainty.

Accountability and Oversight Matter

One of the core issues identified in the long-term care report is the inconsistency between public and private long-term care homes. There is a lack of accountability when private operators fail to meet their operating requirements without any consequences from the Province. It is critical that the King government take this lack of oversight seriously, and improve accountability and funding supports across long-term care to help keep Island seniors safe and cared for.

Legislating National Long-Term Care Standards

The saying "when you know better, you do better" resonates today. We already have the knowledge and expertise to improve conditions in long-term care facilities. Now it’s time to put it into action. In the spring sitting, a Green motion calling on government to improve long-term care passed in the legislature. The report released today mirrors that call and outlines several key action items that government should prioritize. The Green Caucus will continue to hold Premier King and his government accountable for following through on these important recommendations, including supporting long-term care residents and staff. We are also calling on government to show its commitment to improving long-term care by legislating the National Long-Term Care Standards in the upcoming fall sitting of the legislature.

Island seniors and their families deserve the highest quality of care, ensuring safety, comfort, and dignity in long-term care facilities. There should be no more delay in making sure that Islanders in long-term care get the best care possible.

Karla Bernard

Leader of the Third Party

MLA Charlottetown-Victoria Park