Minister's response to senior's story

Shawn Hayward
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No rules governing back-up power for seniors homes

The Packet attempted to contact Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan before Monday’s deadline for information about the rules and regulations governing privately-owned seniors facilities in the province.

The minister was not available for comment.

Staff said her schedule could not accommodate our Monday deadline for an interview.

They provided an e-mail response to some of the questions posed.

According to the department, there are no regulations that require personal care homes to have back-up emergency generators on site.

The e-mail from the minister’s officer went on to say, “The regional health authorities have partnered with and supported personal care home owners regarding contingency measures and their efforts to ensure that the needs of residents are met in the event of an emergency.

“Many personal care homes have contingency measures, which may include back-up generators. Situations of this nature need to be anticipated and officials have been directed to look into this issue immediately.”

The e-mail also noted, there is an industry-government liaison committee in place that is focused on the provision of safe, quality care of residents.

“Initial conversations have already taken place with the sector and the Provincial Government will continue to work collaboratively to address contingency plans, including back-up power, if appropriate, at that table. Work will continue with the industry to develop a plan that ensures patient safety and care is not comprised during disruptions like were experienced on Saturday.

The e-mail from the minister’s office continued, “While people are seeing a generator as a cure-all, there are limitations and it needs to be a part of overall contingency measures.  Some other considerations include fuel demand, safe operation and installation, and the size and requirements of a facility to run basic lights or fully power a facility.”

The personal care home operational standards are currently being reviewed by a provincial working group, according the e-mail.

“Contingency planning will be addressed in the revised standards and officials from the industry are aware of this work.”

The Packet has requested an interview with the minister when she is available.


Organizations: Health and Community Services

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