With nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada linked to outbreaks in long-term care homes, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is welcoming the new interim guidance from the federal government on infection prevention and control of the virus in these facilities. We encourage all provincial/territorial governments to adopt these guidelines uniformly across all long-term care and seniors’ residences.
I’d also like to highlight some of the measures provincial governments have already implemented to safeguard the health of residents and employees in these facilities – these include improving wages for long-term care workers in Quebec and introducing more screening and testing as well as ensuring the availability of personal protective equipment in long-term care facilities in Ontario. Ideally, we would see measures such as these applied consistently across Canada, but more support is required to make that happen.
Caring for seniors is among our top priorities under normal circumstances, but even more so during the pandemic. The CMA has long advocated for a comprehensive plan to improve seniors care in Canada, with the appropriate investments to make it a reality. With Canadians living longer than ever, the demographic shift is already having a significant impact on our health care system. And COVID-19 is an important reminder that all governments need to work together to best support and care for our seniors in this country.
Dr. Sandy Buchman, CMA president