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    Dear Premier Ford:

    I was very happy to see the call for an investigation into systemic discrimination in hospitals and long-term care homes against the elderly by the Ontario Health Coalition, the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The withholding of vital health services based on age constitutes rationing and is unconscionable in the Canadian health care system which is built upon the pillar of equitable access for all.

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    For these reasons, I strongly support the call on the provincial and federal governments to:

    1. Commit that everyone will have access to the hospital and long-term care they need, free from discrimination based on age.
    2. Prohibit the transfer of Alternate Level of Care patients who are awaiting hospital care to non-hospital facilities.
    3. Ensure that Alternate Level of Care patients who are awaiting placement in a long-term care home to facilities are not coerced to go to facilities that are not long-term care homes.
    4. Stop the privatization of public hospital care for the elderly (including complex continuing care, convalescent care, rehabilitation, palliative care) and long-term care.
    5. Issue a policy directive to long-term care homes requiring them to transfer residents to public hospitals where that is medically necessary and appropriate, subject to their right to informed consent, and prohibit the refusal of these transfers by hospitals.
    6. Restore the capacity needed to meet the demographic health care challenges we face in the short term by:
      • Restoring hospital capacity by re-opening and staffing closed beds
      • Building 50,000 public, not-for-profit long-term care beds
      • Hiring 34,000 full-time equivalent long-term care staff (including RN, RPN, PSWs) fast tracking that hiring wherever possible and ensure that actual LTC staffing levels are publicly reported for each home

    We are also calling for increasing the federal share of healthcare funding directed to supporting and improving these vital services.

    Your support for these initiatives is expected. I would appreciate a response outlining the steps you plan to take to press for these demands to become reality. Our seniors deserve nothing less.

    Yours sincerely,

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