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Montra006c, Monday, January 19, 2004 Health care unions, affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-FTQ), deplore the fact that Minister Philippe Couillard has not given his team of investigators a mandate to examine the situation in private nursing homes.

The President of the Conseil provincial des affaires sociales, Marcel Girard is disappointed by this oversight. It is particularly astonishing since we know that Qub0065cs Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse published a paper on this issue, scarcely two years ago. He wonders if there is not a double standard, depending on whether the services are public or private.

In its report released in October 2001, titled LExploitation des personnes ges, vers un filet de protection reserr,0020the Commission des droits de la personne indicated that Private, unregistered nursing homes receive clientele, for whom, in principle, they have neither a mandate nor the means to provide care [] and [] that they are not regulated by any standards concerning the care they provide their clients. (p.26 - translation). In the same report, the Commission pointed out that in 1995, over 80,000 elderly people lived in 2,000 private nursing homes which did not have a permit from the Ministry [] and that, in comparison, the CHSLDs (residential and long-term care centres) received 37,000. (p. 25 - translation)

Last week, the Minister of Health and Social Services asked 20 investigators to draw up a report on the public long-term residential care network. These concrete verifications will begin on January 26 and continue until mid-April. Although approximately 10% of the CHSLDs in Qub0065c will be visited, no private residences will be included. This operation is of even greater concern when we consider the Charest governments bias for privatization, confirmed by the calls for tender launched by the Rg0069e rg0069onale de la Montrgie last year.

CUPE represents some 20,000 members in health and social services in Qub0065c and is also active in 10 other sectors, including education, the municipalities, urban and air transportation, provincial corporations and public organizations, hydroelectricity and communications. With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, it is the largest FTQ affiliate.

This press release and other information are posted on the Internet at scfp.qc.ca

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