Re: the long-term-beds shortage and the rising cost to the health-care system. Maybe the government is not completely to blame, although it should be made more accountable over its spending in this area.
For several years, I worked for one of the region’s largest long-term-care facilities. I’ve seen first-hand as public money was wasted. Frontline workers and supervisors really cared for the clients. But while unionized and non-union, non-management employees had to contend with pay freezes for the good of the company, the upper management never missed a bonus or pay increase.
The frontline crews often worked extra time because they were always short-staffed due to budget constraints, and they dared not object, for fear of being bullied or having their shifts cut. If an employee suffered from depression or anxiety, they’d be further bullied and ostracized. The organization claimed to support mental health wellness, but it never extended such support to employees, preferring to drive them out. Any time employees stood up and pointed out such discrepancies in aid of workmates, they were reminded that everyone is expendable, except long-term management.
This is one of the key reasons why Nova Scotia cannot keep the best care workers: they’re overworked like doctors and abused by employers. If one of the largest long-term-care facilities gets away with this, there is little doubt other organizations will follow this business model.
The government should investigate the long-term-care facilities receiving public money. It could have saved the dollars spent on the panel report, which only stated what was painfully obvious: we need more long-term-care beds and fewer company execs abusing the taxpayers.
Francis Jordan, Dartmouth