BCNU Renews Calls for Investments in Seniors’ Care Ahead of National Seniors Day

September 29, 2023
Union one of several health-based organizations calling for improvements to a care system in crisis

BCNU has been sounding the alarm on conditions in long-term care for years. Appalling conditions, overworked staff, dangerous and heavy workloads, and rampant profiteering continue to be systemic symptoms of Canada’s long-term care sector. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed serious deficiencies in the sector, with approximately 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada occurring in long-term care facilities. We know that by 2031, one-in-four people in BC will be over the age of 65. An aging population with greater levels of acuity means nurses working in long-term care homes face constant challenges as they strive to provide safe, quality health care. 

BCNU is calling for all levels of government to prioritize seniors’ well-being and fix a system in crisis. 

Members are encouraged to visit our new Seniors Deserve Better campaign page to learn more about the important work underway at BCNU and other health-based organizations across BC who are advocating for investments in seniors’ care.

As the country marks National Seniors Day on Oct. 1, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is calling on everyone to take action and send a message to the federal government. It’s time for them to invest in seniors’ care and fix the crisis in Canada’s long-term care system by:

  • Regulating long-term care in Canada according to the principles of the Canada Health Act;
  • Eliminating for-profit business from the long-term care sector;
  • Requiring appropriate staffing and health and safety protections for workers;
  • Matching wages and benefits for long-term care workers to the value of the work they perform; and
  • Targeting and increasing federal funding to provincial/territorial governments for long-term care, community, home and residential care to meet the needs of our aging and chronically ill population.

In this province, the need for investments in publicly funded and delivered long-term care has never been more urgent. The Office of the Seniors Advocate released a new report, Billions More Reasons to Care, exposing the prevalence of profit-taking in the contracted long-term care sector. Between 2017 and 2022, for-profit care homes failed to provide 500,000 funded direct care hours while making record profits from publicly funded beds. In contrast, not-for-profit care homes delivered 93,000 more direct care hours than the hours they were funded for.

BCNU echoes the report’s call for fundamental funding reforms in the long-term care sector.

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