Ontario Budget Fails to Address Nursing Home and Home Care Quality of Care Concerns

    TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - Even though the Ontario budget increases
overall health care spending by 6 percent, the money is spread over so many
programs, no one service receives special consideration even though the needs
may be greater in some areas such as home care and nursing homes.
    "There is nothing to enhance current home care services," said Sharleen
Stewart, President of the Service Employees International Union Local 1.on, a
43,000 member provincial health care union.
    "The McGuinty government has not addressed the real care needs of seniors
living in nursing homes," Stewart said. "A mere $107 million more over three
years to hire more personal support workers will amount to only one additional
PSW per home per year."
    "Money for an additional 2000 RNs for nursing homes would have been
better directed to increasing the amount of Registered Practical Nurses and
PSWs since they provide more direct hands on care," Stewart said.
    "After this budget Ontario still will continue to have the lowest
standards of nursing home care in the western world," Stewart said.
    "We have also seen little to enhance social programs. Workers in social
service agencies have their wages tied to what the government allocates to
these agencies. As a result of this, budget social service workers' wages will
again be left behind the rate of inflation," Stewart said.
    "The Ontario Liberal government's commitment to reducing poverty lasted
only up to the last provincial election day," Stewart said. "It is also clear
the McGuinty Liberals have no intention of eliminating the Health Care
Premium. Health care workers will continue to subsidize their own wages,"
Stewart said.

For further information:

For further information: Sharleen Stewart, (416) 209-7741 or John Van
Beek, (416) 805-0670

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