Ontario announces independent commission into long-term care

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The province has announced an independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system.

The commission announcement comes after weeks of calls for an investigation into what went wrong in the province’s long-term care and nursing homes. As of May 18, 1,389 long-term care home residents have died of COVID-19, meaning such residents account for over 50 per cent of the virus’s death toll in the province.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are currently working in several long-term care homes in Ontario. 

Today (May 18), Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, issued a statement in response to the impact of COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes

“Our government has been clear that we will review the long-term care system to get a better understanding of the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. Today, I am announcing that we will be launching an independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system beginning in September.”

“Over the next several months, our government will be finalizing details of the commission including terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines,” Fullerton wrote in the statement.

“We have been clear the long-term care system in Ontario is broken. We must act quickly and decisively, and that is why an independent non-partisan commission is the best way to conduct a thorough and expedited review.”

Fullerton said the commission will provide the government with guidance on how to improve the long-term care system and better protect residents and staff from any future outbreaks.

“Since day one of COVID-19, our top priority has been to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians. That includes the most vulnerable members of our society like residents in long-term care. Our government offers our condolences to the families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 while residing in a long-term care home. Ontarians need and deserve answers, and let me assure you, they will get them.”

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