Fredericton (October 15, 2020) – Liberal Opposition Leader Roger Melanson and Seniors and Long Term Care Critic Guy Arseneault say that the recently released report by the New Brunswick Nurses Union entitled “The Forgotten Generation: an Urgent Call for Reform in New Brunswick’s Long-Term Care Sector”, rightly raises alarm bells on the state of the province’s long term care system.
“We have serious staffing shortages in many of our long-term care facilities that are significantly impacting on the quality of care provided to residents”, says Melanson. “Although this situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, it was a problem even before Covid19 and it must be addressed”.
In the report, The New Brunswick Nurses Union cites chronic understaffing and a lack of government oversight has resulted residents going without baths and access to toilets, and increased incidents of violence.
“This is unacceptable! said Arseneault. I have heard from many family members with parents or other relatives in long term care who are seeing what is happening firsthand are distressed about the lack of care. They know that staff in our nursing homes are doing everything they can, but the nursing homes are short staffed and they just can’t keep up with patient demands. Frankly, many of them are exhausted.”
Melanson believes this situation can no longer be ignored. “The Nurses Union has called for an independent commission under the Inquiries Act to conduct an investigation into the situation and commit the necessary funds to address these serious problems”, said Melanson. “We agree, and we support a commission under the Inquiries Act, but time is of the essence and the government must act now to come up with an action plan that will address immediate needs in addition to developing a longer term plan”.