Poor quality long-term care is a gender issue

D: Summits will focus on “subtle” privatization of public health care — March 15

As someone who has experienced the devastating and life-altering effects of inadequate long-term care support, I too share the concern that our health care system in general, and the long-term care system in particular , or offered in a tendering process to for-profit corporations. The Long-Term Care Homes Act states that care must be safe, consistent, high quality and resident-centred. However, this mandate cannot be realized due to the lack of staff in long-term care homes. Some causes stem from the lack of adequate training and compensation that personal support workers receive in our society.

I think it’s a gender issue. It’s easy to overlook a problem when women make up nearly 70% of all residents, 90% of long-term care staff, and 80% of all unpaid caregivers.

Federal and provincial governments must invest in high-quality training for personal support workers, increase wages for long-term care nurses and personal support workers permanently, and ban new for-profit long-term care home licenses set to expire in 2025.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind the federal government of its legal commitment to women and the right to health by ratifying both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of discrimination against women.

Megan Strazds-EsenbergsWaterloo

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