The provincial NDP are promising to increase the ratio of nursing home care hours from 3.1 to 3.5 if they are elected on September 24th.
Leader Jennifer McKenzie promised the increase would take place in the first year of government, in contrast to the Liberal promise to reach that goal by 2026.
“The workers in the nursing homes love their jobs, they love their patients, but when you give them impossible working conditions, then they get hurt, and they get stressed and go out on stress leave, and it becomes very difficult to find people to go into these jobs,” says McKenzie.
She acknowledges recruitment and retention are struggling in nursing homes, but says improving working conditions will help address those issues.
“It’s not an intractable problem, it’s one that can be solved, it has to be solved by a good government who believes in their workers, and who believes in what they’re doing, and it’s time, I believe, for that kind of government,” says McKenzie.
She adds they have a plan for recruiting, but did not elaborate on any further details.
McKenzie said the estimated $20 million cost of this switch would be covered by the provincial goverment.