The Common Front for Social Justice and the New Brunswick Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights join the New Brunswick labour movement in calling for the immediate implementation of the 38 recommendations of the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) report on long-term care, including the creation of national long-term care standards.
The report The Forgotten Generation: An Urgent Call For Reform In New Brunswick’s Long-Term Care Sector published by NBNU is based on extensive research into the complex challenges facing seniors and their families attempting to work with nursing homes and the long-term care sector across New Brunswick. The report’s recommendations are crafted to put the well-being of seniors and the dignity and respect of long care workers first before profits.
The report highlights the deep injustices perpetuated by the privatization of care homes and the increasing casualization of the long-term care workforce. Seniors in long-term care suffer increasing costs and reduced quality of life, while essential workers are underpaid with no job stability or certainty. We especially echo the reports calls to implement national standards for long-term care and incorporate long term care into the Canada Health Act and end all private involvement in long-term care.
We also support calls to the end casualized employment in the healthcare system, and for the Federal and Provincial government to cooperate to aggressively increase the number of nurses and other care workers in the province, including through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and operating provincial university Nursing programs at full capacity with adequate funding.
We support calls for the oversight of responsibility for nursing homes to be moved from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Health.
The New Brunswick government should become a leader by supporting a National Long-Term Care Standards. These and other recommendations in the report chart a path forward for New Brunswick and the country to rebuild our healthcare system back better and stronger in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and mend our social safety net which has been damaged by decades of privatization, outsourcing, and lack of adequate supports for workers and low-income people.