Kicking people off wait list doesn’t reduce need for more long-term care beds

June 16, 2015

(New Waterford, NS) A document obtained by the NDP shows the McNeil government has kicked 175 seniors off the long-term care wait list since February of this year because they weren’t quite ready to leave their homes.

NDP candidate Tammy Martin says the seniors who have been kicked off the list still require long-term care but the Liberals are unwilling to address the real problem – a shortage of beds. She says entering a long-term care facility can be an overwhelming process for a senior and the government needs to show some compassion.

“It’s unfair the McNeil government is forcing a 24 hour ultimatum on seniors to accept a placement or be kicked off the waiting list,” says Martin. “Everyone on the waiting list has been assessed as needing long-term care by a doctor. That being said, the decision to leave one’s home can be trying and stressful. Some time is required so seniors can carefully consider their options before making the final choice.”

In February 2015, Leo Glavine announced that seniors would be given one-business day to accept a placement or be removed from the long-term care waiting list. The McNeil government has also placed a moratorium on creating more long-term care beds and in the last budget cut $3.6 million from the long-term care facility budget.

Between June 2009 and September 2013 the previous NDP government opened approximately 1000 new long-term care beds and replaced 800 more. In the summer of 2013, the previous government also announced funding for the creation of 350 more long-term care beds, and the replacement of 750 more. The McNeil government has not followed through on the plan announced in the summer of 2013.