As the opening of the new Legislative session approaches, the Official Opposition is expressing serious concern over the state of the Province’s long-term care facilities and is calling on the Higgs government to take concrete action to address the situation.
“The conditions at the Manoir La Vallée that have recently been reported clearly indicate that there are significant problems in the way we manage our long-term care facilities,” says the Liberal critic for Seniors and Long-Term Care, Guy Arseneault. “We need to look at every possible avenue to do better for our province’s seniors, but the Premier is reluctant to even consider national standards on long term care and I find that very concerning.”
In a recent 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. The report also highlighted several issues of serious concern related to the deterioration of care in the provinces long term care facilities, made a series of recommendations to address some of the major issues, and called for a public debate.
“We need to listen to the experts in providing patient care, like the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU), if we are ever going to properly identify and solve the issues in our nursing homes and special care homes,” Says the MLA for Campbellton-Dalhousie. “This has been a growing problem for years and the pandemic has highlighted just how dire the situation is in our long-term care facilities. The Liberal caucus urges Government to support the NBNU’s call for an independent commission under the Inquiries Act to conduct an investigation into the situation.
With the Higgs government set to deliver their Speech from the Throne later this month, Arseneault hopes to see a real commitment towards improving long-term care. “We’ve heard very vague Throne Speeches with no real substance from this government in the past. This year, I hope to see concrete action items, especially when it comes to Long-Term Care. We need an open dialogue on the challenges we are facing, hear from those who can provide valuable insight, and move forward with a plan to address these challenges,” said Arseneault.