For Immediate Release
16 August, 2023
NDP Leader, Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre), is calling on government to release the review of Long Term Care that was announced in February to alleviate pressure in hospital emergency rooms. This report was first promised in October of 2022, and review committee members named in February of 2023, but six months later – no update has been provided on the review. Dinn’s call comes as data collected from healthcare professionals working in the provincial health authority shows that on any given day 30% of ER beds are occupied by patients who do not require emergency care, but have no other option to access health care.
“People should not have to take up space in an emergency room because it’s the only option they have when they are in need,” said Dinn. “This government needs to do more than announce a committee and hope the people of the province forget and the problem goes away on its own,” Dinn said. “Families have been waiting for solutions for years. Government must take action to address the crisis they’re perpetuating,” said Dinn. “Delaying action doesn’t serve the workers holding the system together, or the people who are unsure they’ll be able to access healthcare when they need it.”
Dinn is questioning why government has failed to train up staff within the healthcare system to staff long term care facilities so they can be operating at full capacity.
“We have staff working within healthcare who know the system and would want the opportunity to train up internally – why hasn’t this happened?” questioned Dinn. “We’re in a worldwide health care staffing crunch and although government is recruiting in other countries when we could be offering training and moving interested staff into positions that could help expand long term care and open up beds that are currently sitting empty,” said Dinn. “We shouldn’t be surprised, our solution would take work and this government continues to show they have an outright allergy to that.”