Auditor General report confirms crisis in Ontario’s health care system

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TORONTO –Urgent concerns regarding the staffing crisis in Ontario long-term care homes and emergency rooms were confirmed in today’s Ontario Auditor General's report

"The Auditor General's report confirms what we have been saying for years that our health care system is in crisis and our long-term care and emergency room staff are bearing the brunt of this,” said Samia Hashi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “It's time for immediate action to address staffing shortages. We need to improve the compensation and working conditions of all health care workers to ensure a stable workforce is available to provide high-quality care to the people of Ontario."

The Auditor General's findings revealed that a significant number of long-term care homes are failing to meet the provincial target of four hours of direct care. Staffing shortages remain a persistent issue in both the long-term care and hospital sectors. High vacancies and turnover, particularly in nursing and personal support positions, have led to an unsustainable reliance on agency staff in both settings. 

“Agency staff are paid much more than nurses working within the public health care system. Public dollars are being siphoned by these for-profit companies, as they take advantage of this staffing shortage. This situation is exacerbated by the increasing complexity of care required by residents in long term care, including those with dementia, mental illness, and other neurological disorders,” said Hashi.

Unifor calls on the provincial government to implement the Auditor General's recommendations, focusing on improving staffing levels, compensation, wait times in emergency rooms and access to primary care.  

Unifor represents more than 30,000 health care workers, including hospitals, long-term care, emergency services, and community and social services and is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at @email or 647-448-2823 (cell).