Action needed now on Adult Dental Program, Long-Term Care staffing levels

Updated: Nov 27, 2018


Following the release of government’s Fall Fiscal Update, NDP Leader Gerry Rogers says government needs to invest in its people to build a resilient and healthy population that can withstand the ups and downs of reliance on volatile oil prices.

Rogers says many people, especially seniors, are suffering from severe dental pain and infections but cannot afford to see a dentist because this government cut the Adult Dental Program.

Today in Question Period, Rogers said doctors around the province are ringing alarm bells about the suffering and danger their patients are in, the extraordinary use of antibiotics, and the dangers of addictions with pain meds.

“I ask the Premier, what is he going to do to help these people who are showing up in our emergency departments in desperation?”

Rogers says The Gathering Place’s new free dental clinic already has 1,500 people waiting to see a dentist. “The Gathering Place cannot meet this dental emergency situation alone,” Rogers said. “I ask the Premier, will he bring back the Adult Dental Program so people can get the health care they need?”

Lorraine Michael, NDP Critic for Children, Seniors, and Social Development, says we are hearing from people around the province about the situation of people in long-term care who are experiencing repeated assaults, falls, delays in hygiene care, lack of assistance at mealtime, and being forced to stay in bed. She says a lack of adequate staff is cited as the cause.

Michael says a seniors’ rights advocacy group submitted a petition to the House of Assembly yesterday and offered many more examples of neglect and poor care, and threats to the health and well-being of their loved ones.

“We have an urgent situation now because staffing levels are not meeting the needs of people in these facilities,” said Michael.

“I ask the Minister, will he conduct an immediate review of staffing needs in long-term care and end the suffering of residents?”

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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, 729-2137 (o) or 693-9172 (c).


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