Recommendations made in 2015 to fine operators that are repeat offenders of the Long-Term Care Homes Act in Ontario could soon be put into action.
On Wednesday, the Liberal government announced it will introduce legislation and regulatory amendments early in 2017 to strengthen the quality and safety inspection program by introducing financial penalties.
Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk first made those recommendations in 2015 after finding that in 2014, 78 homes had failed to comply with at least one order and many of those were in key risk areas. At the time, the ministry had no plans to deal with repeated non-compliance.
The changes being proposed would also give the minister the authority to suspend an operator’s licence, establish new offences – such as failing to protect residents, and allow the health minister to give homes directives on improvements in care.
The government says that while Ontario needs more tools to ensure operators address concerns, the “vast majority” of long-term care homes comply with rules and regulations.