A discussion paper published by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) explores the feasibility of national standards for long-term care facilities across the country. Produced in collaboration with the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Society of Long-Term Care Medicine and the Canadian Support Workers Association, the paper, National standards for long-term care: the art of the possible, calls for government discussions on the LTC sector and points to the need for measurable commitments as a condition of federal transfers.
The discussion paper highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgent need to address the capacity of the long-term care sector and the quality of care it provides, arguing that the system was in dire need of fixing long before the pandemic.
This sentiment is echoed by Canadians. A November survey by Ipsos, commissioned by the CMA reveals that nine in 10 Canadians are concerned about the challenges being faced by the long-term care system and 81 per cent agree the challenges facing long-term care homes were evident before the pandemic, but COVID-19 only made them worse.
The CMA is calling on the federal government to work directly with the provinces and territories to increase funding through a demographic-based top-up to the Canada Health Transfer.