Photo: Jean Francois Badias Associated Press
Canada displays a proportion of deaths related to the COVID-19 have occurred in homes for elderly people are among the highest in the world.
After a new devastating report on NURSING homes, hit hard by the pandemic, now is not the time to review, consider of the players in the middle. It is necessary to address urgently to the nerve of the war : the lack of staff and bad management.
“I am devastated by the report, but also to tell me that it sounds the alarm for the umpteenth time,” says Françoise Ramel, acting president of the Union of health care professionals of the Centre-South-Island-of-Montreal.
This is a view shared by Peter G. Brunet, president of the Council of protection of patients. The pandemic has only exacerbated the shortcomings of the network and highlighted the fact that “the elders have never been a priority,” he said. Both hope that the crisis will finally move the government.
“It has long been known that NURSING homes should receive much more attention in the past, and it was unfortunately made up with this legacy. It does not mean that we must accept it, ” responded his side the new minister of Health, Christian Dubé.
Its government was working on ” multiple solutions to front “, including the training and “upgrading” of the staff, the construction of homes of the elderly and the renovation of NURSING old. “Once the crisis has passed, we will look at how to improve our network of NURSING homes to prevent tragic situations such as those we have seen in recent months,” he added.
The editorial by Marie-André Chouinard: Painful reminder
In a voluminous report released Friday, the ten researchers appointed by the royal Society of Canada — a well-known scientific body independent — have passed under the magnifying glass, the establishments of long-term care facilities in the country. Their conclusion is brutal.
Canada displays a proportion of deaths related to the COVID-19 have occurred in these households is among the highest in the world (81 %). It greatly exceeds that of the United States (31 %) and Spain (66 %), two countries heavily bereaved.
Quebec, like Ontario, plays a big part.
“It is catastrophic what happened. The army was sent in reinforcement. We can’t continue like this “, summarizes one of the authors, Francine Ducharme.
If the report makes a series of recommendations, the workforce remains the priority, says the one who is also dean of the Faculty of nursing sciences of the université de montréal. “To rebuild our NURSING homes going to take time. But for the staff, we can tackle it now. “
Quebec would be expected to increase the number of charge to the beneficiaries and take care of them more. It must grant them permanent jobs, increase their wages, offer benefits and psychological support.
The government has already committed to add 10 000 attendants through training express. It promises them a full-time job and an annual salary of $ 49,000. “It is also necessary to add professionals to rebalance the ratios,” says dr. Ducharme. This includes more nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists, in particular.
“It trains nurses in the prevention and control of infections. In my opinion, there should be in each CHSLD, ” she continued. Gold, it is difficult to attract when the salaireset the working conditions are ” appalling “. Not to mention that, for many, ” work with elderly people is less glamorous than the emergency department or the intensive care unit.”
The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) has long been the glaring lack of specialized employees. In such institutions become ” minihôpitaux “, the number of patients suffering from various health problems and requiring a high level of care has soared, pleads his vice-president, Jérôme Rousseau.
It is not only the number of personnel that should be reviewed, but also their management, argue the authors of the report. It was calamitous this spring, with a back-and-forth of staff between hot and cold zones, and from one institution to the other. A practice that has accelerated the spread of the virus.
That said, the federal government also has its role to play, according to the researchers. Ottawa must raise its funding and implement “national standards” for all institutions of long-term care in the country.