The idea of creating national standards for long-term care facilities may sound appealing. If only she was realistic.
Worse, so far, it only creates unnecessary tensions in the federation.
Never mind, Justin Trudeau is keen on imposing service standards on the provinces in what is called here CHSLDs.
François Legault, Doug Ford and others may tell him that health comes under provincial jurisdiction. Justin Trudeau persists.
“I fully respect the areas of jurisdiction of the provinces, but when we talk about dignity and health – and especially people’s lives – there are no areas of jurisdiction. We must all work together to ensure that our seniors are protected, ”he said at a press briefing yesterday.
We still know very little about the federal plan.
There are rumors of a national base salary for attendants, or a ban on employees working in more than one establishment, in order to prevent the spread of viruses.
Quebec has completely failed in this area. To this day, nurses, among others, walk from CHSLD to CHSLD.
This duplication was banned in British Columbia from the start of the pandemic, with the success we know.
End of the parenthesis.
In terms of health, the provinces want above all a massive reinvestment without conditions from the federal government, to the tune of $ 28 billion as of next year.
It is highly unlikely that their wish will be granted. The amount seems unrealistic. And for Ottawa, there is no question of signing a blank check.
So what ?
So if the past guarantees the future, the idea of imposing national standards will lead nowhere.
First, because the federal government has no power over health, other than spending power.
All he can do is sign checks to the provinces, trying to put conditions on them.
Last time around when it came to mental health and home care, Ottawa had mixed success.
Provinces, including Quebec, had succeeded in virtually eliminating the strings attached to the money that Ottawa dangled.
As if to save face, after a long standoff, both sides argued that they shared the same priorities anyway.
It is quite possible that history will repeat itself and that famous national standards will turn into targeted investments negotiated with the provinces.
There is no shortage of needs in long-term care centers across the country.
Quebec, for example, will need money to pay the thousands of employees it intends to add to the CHSLD network.
These disputes over skills are enough to exasperate the average citizen who wants only one thing: to get their money’s worth, especially when it comes to the safety of our seniors.