Réseau FADOQ is pleased that the Action Plan for Long-Term Care is based on good principles and has a timetable. Without an ambitious workforce plan, however, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve these goals.
“The interests and dignity of residents are at the heart of this plan, and we have pressed for this for several years now. However, these principles will be judged by the results,” says Gisèle Tassé-Goodman, president of Réseau FADOQ.
A few elements of the plan can be put in place quickly and without much difficulty:
- Presence of responsible managers in each CHSLD, Maison des aînés and Maison alternative
- Establishment of a long-term care accommodation advisory committee
- Optimization of medication use in CHSLDs, including deprescribing, which pilot projects have shown to be beneficial
- Implementation of the Quebec CHSLD Dental Care and Daily Oral Hygiene Program
On the other hand, labour shortages may impede implementation of the plan’s good principles, including the personalization of care, and services and support for residents’ loved ones.
Solving the labour problem
That is why this plan must be accompanied by robust measures to increase the workforce.
Broad decompartmentalization of the health care professions is essential. Professional associations must make accommodations to optimize and cross-train health care professionals without compromising patient safety.
One way to improve working conditions and staff retention would be to implement care ratios.
“There are ratios in daycare centres for educators, in airplanes for flight attendants, but none in the health care system,” notes Ms. Tassé-Goodman.
Last week, Réseau FADOQ, along with other groups and professional orders, launched a campaign to demand a law that would guarantee minimum safety ratios to ensure the safety and quality of care provided to all Quebecers.
By improving working conditions for caregivers and eliminating overtime, jobs in nursing homes will become more attractive to staff.