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'Things have not improved': Quebec ombudsperson criticizes long-term care homes wait list

Quebec ombudsperson Marc-André Dowd said Thursday that "things have not improved" when it comes to access to CHSLD (long-term care home) accommodation.

Dowd tabled his 2022-2023 annual report in the national assembly, describing the "obstacle course" involved in finding a place in public accommodation.

On March 31, 4,168 people were waiting for a place. The figure has now risen to 4,560, according to the most recent figures from the Ministry of Health.

In the three years between March 2020 and March 2023, the ombudsperson noted an increase of 1,129 people.

Transfers from one accommodation to another, given the shortage of places, are tending to create a new phenomenon of "homelessness" among people with advanced loss of autonomy, he complained.

The ombudsperson also devoted an entire section of his report to the shortcomings of correctional services.

"A number of people were isolated in cells for prolonged periods simply because there was a shortage of correctional officers," he reported.

The ombudsperson also had to deal with a huge number of complaints this year in connection with the failed digital transition at the Quebec auto insurance board, the SAAQ.

His report is full of examples of the difficulties faced by Quebecers at the start of the year when the SAAQ "underestimated the consequences of suspending most of its services."

And yet, the ombudsperson says that in 2022, he will have helped the state-owned company with its "transition management."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 21, 2023. Top Stories

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