New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael said the government should have listened to her years ago when she pressed for more long-term care spaces in the province.
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael. — Telegram file photo
During question period in the House of Assembly Monday, Michael asked Health Minister Paul Davis how many people are currently on the wait list for long-term care.
Davis said the number changes from day to day, so he couldn't give a specific answer.
“I pointed out to this government years ago that our aging demographic would result in an increased demand for personal care home and long-term care beds,” Michael told Davis.
“So I ask the minister: why didn’t the government make adequate plans when they had the choice? Because I can assure him they do not have enough beds for the wait list.”
Michael said that detailed plans with lots of specific details are necessary to tackle this sort of a problem.
“We have an aging population in Newfoundland and Labrador and we recognize that. In fact, as a government we are taking great steps,” Davis said.
“We are building, as I mentioned, a new significant piece of infrastructure in the east part of St. John’s, a new long-term care facility; it will have 461 beds. We are building a new one in Carbonear with 228 beds. We are adding capacity to Labrador City.”
But Michael said that wasn't specific enough.
“So the minister is acknowledging that we have a looming crisis, really,” Michael said.
“The need is getting greater. I would like to see the plan, Mr. Speaker, with details of how they are going to make sure the wait lists end.”
When Davis told her that the government has a strategy for long term care, Michael said that wasn't good enough.
“I have read that document and it does not have the details I am asking for.”