Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Ontario nurses call for improvements to long-term care

TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2007 – The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) today will call on the McGuinty government to keep its promise to improve care for seniors living in long-term care homes in a submission to the provincial government on Bill 140, the Long-Term Care Homes Act.

 “We commend the government for introducing this legislation, but we need to ensure the Bill’s principle is implemented in a way that will result in concrete improvements to the care our seniors receive,” says Joan Lesmond, Immediate Past-President of RNAO, who will present the submission today at Queen’s Park. However, Lesmond adds, this will require increased funding. She urged the government to keep its campaign promise to increase long-term care sector funding by $6,000 per person per year.

Lesmond also reminded the government that long-term care is an essential health service, and urged it to implement amendments to the Bill which will reverse the trend of awarding most long-term beds to for-profit facilities. “Studies have repeatedly shown that not-for-profit care in this sector results in higher staffing levels and better health outcomes,” she says.

RNAO President Mary Ferguson-Paré says the government’s commitment to improving care can’t be achieved without adequate staffing. She is calling on the government to require 3.5 hours of care per day for each resident. “If the government is serious about providing quality care to seniors, it needs to make sure there are enough RNs, nurse practitioners and other care providers in each facility to ensure seniors get the care they need,” she says.

RNAO also encouraged the government to create an elder-care ombudsperson to hear concerns of all seniors, including those living in long-term care. “As Ontario’s population ages, we need to have the measures in place to make sure seniors’ voices are still heard. This is a group that can contribute a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to our province,” Lesmond says.

 WHO:  Joan Lesmond, Immediate Past-President, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario

 WHAT: Presentation to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on Bill 140, the Long-Term Care Homes Act

 WHERE: Queen’s Park, Main Legislative Building, Committee Room 1.

 WHEN:  2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007.

 The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario.  Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.


For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605