MONTREAL -- Quebec's ombudsperson presented her report to the National Assembly Thursday that details the glaring problems experienced in the province's long-term care homes (CHSLDs) were known to the government long before the massive numbers of deaths that occurred last spring, and yet the solutions were always postponed.

Voices are raised, analyses are done, reports are produced, "but nothing is moving," wrote ombudsperson Marie Rinfret, in yet another devastating report on the poor quality of public services reserved for the elderly primarily in long-term care homes.

Complaints to the Ministry of Health and Social Services have increased this year by 26 per cent, noted Rinfret, adding that the Quebec Ombudsman seems to be preaching in the desert.

In its reports, year after year, the organization has echoed the "major" shortcomings denounced by the public (lack of staff, dilapidated premises) in the network of retirement homes, without any follow-up, she said in her 168-page report.

For example, a large proportion of people living in a CHSLD have dementia. However, too often, writes Rinfret, these people are not accommodated in environments adapted to their needs, due to the lack of available places.

In addition, the glaring lack of personnel in all types of resources intended for the elderly (public and private CHSLDs, private residences for the elderly, intermediate resources) has a direct impact on the quality of care provided.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.