BC Nurses’ Union renews call for proper investments in long-term care

THE BC Nurses’ Union on Tuesday recognized the more than 50,000 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, care aides and health professionals who play a vital role in promoting the health and well-being of older adults every day in this province.

In light of the formal recognition of February 23 as BC Seniors Care Providers Day, BCNU president Christine Sorensen said the government must conduct a comprehensive review of BC’s long-term care system and do more to improve working conditions for long-term care nurses and providers, so that residents can receive the quality of care they deserve.

“Chronic short staffing, underfunding, and heavy workloads were serious issues before the pandemic,” said Sorensen. “The devastation COVID-19 has had on our care homes is unfortunately a result of systemic neglect that’s occurred over several years. We are calling on the current government to make it a priority to address these issues for the thousands of professionals committed to caring for our seniors.”

BCNU is one of several diverse health-based organizations that has endorsed the latest report by the non-partisan group, Action for Reform of Residential Care (ARRC). In the report, “Improving Quality of Life in Long Term Care – A Way Forward”, recommendations include providing a person-centred care model with a focus on strengthened staffing and quality-of-life standards.

“Years of budget cuts, shrinking resources and a lack of attention to a chronically short-staffed workforce have collided with the unprecedented demands of the pandemic, and that has had devastating consequences,” said Sorensen. “The dedicated health professionals and residents of our long-term care system deserve the very best.”