Manitoba’s Nurses Support Legislation to Improve Long-Term Care

Publish date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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Manitoba’s nurses are proud to support legislation introduced by the Official Opposition that will increase direct care hours and ensure safe staffing levels for long-term care residents, MNU President Darlene Jackson announced today.

“Manitoba’s nurses are proud to support this legislation which will increase direct care hours for our seniors and most vulnerable, and improve staffing levels in long-term care facilities,” said MNU President Darlene Jackson. “As our population ages, care needs are becoming increasingly complex, and therefore direct care hours must be protected by law to ensure all Manitoba seniors, regardless of income or location, receive high quality care.”

Bill 212, The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act (Personal Care Home Guidelines) would enhance care for seniors by enshrining existing guidelines into law, and require all long-term care facilities to meet or exceed the minimum standard. Moreover, the legislation would require facilities to report the number of direct care hours they provide to residents, and require the Minister of Health to be accountable for meeting the target of 4 direct care hours per resident per day.

The legislation echoes the recommendations of MNU’s 2018 report, The Future of Long-Term Care is Now, which reviewed best practices from jurisdictions across North America. The bill also establishes parameters for ensuring appropriate staff mix including nurses and other health care professionals. The bill is an updated version of legislation introduced in 2018, which dissolved on the order paper due to the early provincial election in 2019.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the importance of improving care standards for seniors, and requiring facilities to be accountable to the law,” said Jackson. “The tragic stories we are hearing from long-term care facilities across Canada are due in part to inadequate staffing and care standards. Ensuring safe staffing levels and direct care hours for all seniors is a critical step to prevent that from happening in Manitoba.”

MNU encourages all Manitobans to voice their support for this legislation by sending a letter to their elected representatives at www.putpatientsfirst.ca/longtermcare

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