At at media conference held today at the Delta Hotel, the impact of recently announced cuts at the FJ Davey Home was discussed.
Presenting at the conference were Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) secretary-treasurer Candace Rennick, personal support worker Alison Caul, and Davey Home resident family member Corrado Bruni (pictured).
At issue at the 374-bed, 400-employee nursing home are cuts to nursing, custodial, support, and dietary staff, most concerning being 25 lost hours of direct resident support care.
During her address today, Rennick told attendees that the Province of Ontario spends $155 per resident per day on senior care, far less than other provinces.
The Government of Quebec spends $100 more per day, while Saskatchewan and Albert dish out $200 more per day.
"A calculation done on the care hours provided at the Davey Home suggests that once these cuts take affect, residents will receive in and around two hours of care per day. This takes us back to 1990 care levels," said Rennick.
CUPE members are advocating for the provincial government to increase funding to accommodate four hours of care per resident per day.
Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti met with a delegation representing staff, residents, and family interests last week, and SooToday.com was told they came away from the discussion feeling confident.
"The time for talk has passed. We need Mr. Orazietti to take swift action to ensure that care levels at the FJ Davey Home are maintained," Rennick stated during her address.
In a news released issued today, Orazietti stated that the provincial government has increased funding to the nursing home every year since the Liberal Party came to office, and that "any suggestion that the province has cut or reduced funding to F.J. Davey Home is misleading and factually untrue."
Following the presentation, she told SooToday.com that these upcoming cuts "take hands off bed-side care and is extremely worrisome. We believe that care levels at the Davey Home are already too low, and before these cuts happen, people cannot meet the needs of the residents. We're convinced that the situation is only going to get worse, and needs will not be met as a result of these cuts."
Caul told us that an over-stretched staff base and employee burnout have resulted in documentation and compliance issues at the FJ Davey Home, which likely lead to the announced cuts.
She also expressed concern over potential safety issues due to under-staffing.
Bruni, whose father has been a resident at the Davey Home for approximately a year, says he's witnessed firsthand a lack in care levels and wants the government to review operations to determine what can be improved in order to obtain satisfactory funding.
"The RPNs are under pressure, the PSWs are under pressure, so obviously there's dissent in the workplace," he told us. "That ends up being passed to the residents because they don't get the quality care they require. That concerns me greatly."
"It's not always about funds. It's about management of the funds," Bruni continued. "I think we need full disclosure from management about where these funds go, and the residents and the residents' council should be made aware. It's about transparency."
The advocacy group has scheduled an info-picket at the intersection of Great Northern Road and Third Line for Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. where volunteers will be handing out information pamphlets to those interested.
Full text of the news release issued by the office of David Orazietti follows.
Province increases funding for F.J. Davey Home by $7.3 million
Ontario government continues to strengthen healthcare in Sault Ste. Marie
SAULT STE. MARIE - Funding to F.J. Davey Home has been increasing every year since the Liberal government came to office said David Orazietti, MPP, today.
“Any suggestion that the province has cut or reduced funding to F.J. Davey Home is misleading and factually untrue,” said Orazietti. “Our government has continued to increase funding for health care by 67.5 percent across the province and specifically for the F.J. Davey Home by 65 percent or $7.2 million.”
Since 2004, the F.J. Davey Home has seen its budget increase from $11.1 million to $18.3 million (see graphic below).
In Ontario, overall Long-Term Care support has increased from $2.1 billion in 2003 to $3.8 billion in 2013 – an increase of $1.7 billion or 81 percent.
Long-Term Care facilities are now caring for 77,000 Ontarians with over 9,000 new LTC beds opened since 2003.
The average funding per bed in Ontario is approximately $44,308/bed.
In Sault Ste. Marie the average funding per bed is approximately $46,445/bed.
“While I continue to work to increase care for those in our community, the discussion needs to be based on facts not false accusations,” said Orazietti. “And the fact is, our government has substantially increased funding for long-term care, hospitals and home care, as well as for doctors and nurses.”
Information graphic provided by the office of Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti.