KITCHENER-WATERLOO — The NDP revealed Thursday that not a single long-term care bed has been created in Kitchener-Waterloo in three years. NDP MPPs Catherine Fife (Waterloo), Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre), Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas), Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong) and Ian Arthur (Kingston and the Islands) said that’s despite a growing wait list in the community.
Between 2017 and the end of 2019, zero long-term care beds were created in the region, and, as of November 2019, 848 people in Waterloo were stuck on a wait list for a long-term care bed, while 1,931 people were on a wait list for long-term care in Kitchener.
“The need for investment in the long-term care sector has never been more glaring, yet the Ford government neglected to build even a single long-term care bed in Kitchener-Waterloo since coming to power — the result is that thousands in the region have been left to languish on wait lists — many of them in hospital beds, which is making the hallway medicine crisis even worse,” said Fife.
“The previous Liberal government let Ontario’s long-term care wait list get out of control, and the Ford government is making a bad situation worse by failing to build long-term care beds, and allowing wait lists to balloon,” said Lindo. “Since Doug Ford came to power, Ontario’s provincial wait-list for long-term care has grown by 3,371 people.
“On top of this, Ford plans to slash $34-million from long-term care homes in 2020. That means fewer staff — even though they’re already run off their feet and unable to give residents enough one-on-one attention — and less money to upkeep the facilities so they’re safe.”
In October 2019, a report from the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) confirmed that the Ford government is failing to keep up with demand for new long-term care beds. The FAO’s report shows that even if the government met its target of building 15,000 beds, it will fall far short of what’s needed. Falling far short of that, in its first 18 months in office, Ford has built just 21 beds throughout the entire province.