Judith Monteith‑Farrell MPP, Thunder Bay–Atikokan

Government of Ontario

Demanding action to fix shortage of PSWs in long-term care

Published on February 10, 2020

THUNDER BAY — NDP MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell (Thunder Bay—Atikokan) said the Ford government must take action after a new report from the Ontario Health Coalition revealed that Ontario’s long-term care sector is in crisis due to a PSW shortage. Over the last decade, the number of support hours provided to long-term care residents has fallen due to a shortage of trained PSWs.


“Frontline staff are run off their feet in Thunder Bay’s long-term care homes,” Monteith-Farrell said. “Staff are doing their best, but they are chronically under-staffed and under-funded.”


According to the report, long-term care homes are short-staffed on virtually every shift of virtually every long-term care home in the province. Homes are working with shortages of one to two PSWs on almost all shifts, and can be short five to 10 PSWs in every 24-hour period. 


In Thunder Bay, the PSW shortages are so severe that funded long-term care beds have had to remain unoccupied despite the long wait-list for a spot in a long-term care home.


“Demand is steadily increasing, yet the Ford government is failing to invest in new long-term care beds or to properly fund the homes we already have. No one should have to worry that the needs of their parent or grandparent are being overlooked because hardworking PSWs are too run off their feet to help,” said Monteith-Farrell.


“The Ford government should reverse its $34-million cut to long-term care and support the NDP bill, the Time to Care Act, introduced by MPP Teresa Armstrong. This legislation would require long-term care homes to provide an average of four hours of hands-on care per resident per day, and put an end to the misery faced by so many families trying to find quality long-term care for their loved ones.”