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Liberals’ health “action plan” ignores minimum care standard for frail long-term care residents. Bring dignity back, say direct care workers.

KINGSTON, ON – The Ontario government’s so-called “action plan” for health care, released this week, lacks the long-promised minimum standard of care for the province’s 85,000 residents of long-term care (LTC), advocates will say at a Kingston media conference on Monday, February 6.

The Liberal government first promised a legislated care standard in 2003. Years later, residents, most of whom are 85 years old or older, are still waiting. Many of them are quite frail, and most of them have complex medical needs. They deserve a minimum standard of care of 3.5 hours of direct care per day, LTC direct care workers will say at Thursday’s media conference.

WHAT: “3.5 Hours of Care” media event on long-term care. Includes a six-minute video featuring LTC workers.

WHO: Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE; Joanne Waddell, front-line LTC worker; and Bonnie Soucie, front-line LTC worker, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

WHERE: Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 631, 4034 Bath Road, Kingston, ON

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, at 12 p.m. (noon)

Direct care LTC workers are reaching out to their provincial Members of Parliament to urge them to make it a priority to develop a minimum care standard in the upcoming legislature.

While a request for a meeting with Kingston area MPP - Liberal - John Gerretsen was made, staff with his office have indicated, Gerretsen has been away and is not able to meet with them at this time. But LTC workers say action on a 3.5 hrs/day; hands-on care standard is needed now. Residents have waited long enough, they say.

For more information, please contact:

David Robbins, Communications, CUPE Ontario, 613-878-1431, drobbins@cupe.on.ca