WATCH: Profit at the root of problem in alleged nursing home negligence, says lawyer
Two new proposed class-action lawsuits against two of the province's long-term care chains are bringing the issue of alleged neglect in nursing homes back to the forefront. The plaintiffs involved and their lawyers took their case to Queen's Park Thursday, calling for accountability and change.
"It is a failure in basic care," says NDP MPP France Gelinas, who has been fighting for more oversight in the long-term care system.
Lawyer Amani Oakley, who is leading the proposed lawsuits, says she believes a desire to make a profit is at the root of the problem in some of the province's nursing homes.
"I think unfortunately these are homes that the focus is making money, it is not delivering care," Oakley says.
The Wynne government recently promised to add more beds in the province, hire more nurses, and require more hours of daily care per patient. Gelinas, though, says that what is needed is more oversight and inspections.
"I have done everything I can in opposition to move this government... and I was not successful," she told reporters. "The only avenue left was for the lawyers to bring this to court."
Oakley says she hopes the proposed lawsuits will show any bad apples in the industry that it can't be business as usual anymore.
"It's all about accountability," says lawyer Sandra Zisckind, also involved in the legal action. "If there's no consequences for bad actions, or very little consequences, there's no motive to change."