‘When the people who exploit nurses and personal support workers are leading the overhaul, taxpayers and families in need of care are right to be worried’
The safety and security of frontline workers was ignored in legislation which aims to reform Ontario’s home care system, claims the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare.
"Frontline workers and their unions were given zero opportunity to provide input into the overhaul of Ontario's home care system. The legislation appears to have been written behind closed doors with the operators who stand to profit from the reforms,” said the union.
The reaction came after Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health, announced legislation that will allow Ontario Health Teams to service both home care and primary care setups. This, Elliot said, will allow for the seamless coordination of services for patients.
The health ministry also said it is expanding the capacity of home care workers through client-partnered scheduling, an initiative that lets service providers schedule visits directly with home care clients to better match available personal support workers with client preferences.
"Doug Ford's government is handing the keys to our healthcare system to the rich executives who can't properly run their own businesses. Today's announcement proves the Ford government is again putting frontline workers in the backseat to a privatization agenda,” said SEIU Healthcare.
The union also noted that the government made no commitment to deliver safe working conditions through adequate training, secure pensions and raise the wages of low-paid healthcare workers.
"When the people who exploit nurses and personal support workers are leading the overhaul, taxpayers and families in need of care are right to be worried. And with everything in his government going so wrong, frontline workers do not have the confidence that Doug Ford's government will get this right,” said SEIU Healthcare.
The union called on Elliot to halt the introduction of the legislation until the government can address the needs of nurses and personal support workers.