Government must consult seniors and their families when making decisions that affect their health and well-being

Charlottetown, PE – The Official Opposition is very concerned to learn residents of Prince Edward Home and their families have not been consulted in advance regarding the facility being designated a COVID-19 unit. 

“For the residents, this is their home,” said Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “These people and their families are understandably upset about decisions being made that could potentially have consequences on their health and well-being. It is unconscionable for Health PEI and government to not adequately consult and inform these residents.”

All indicators of the impacts of COVID-19 show the elderly, and specifically those in long-term care facilities, are at the highest risk for infection. Prince Edward Island has been very fortunate and has not yet experienced any COVID-19 cases in long term care or community care facilities. This has provided public health authorities an opportunity to learn from what has worked in other jurisdictions.

“I am aware that so-called ‘COVID wings’ are appearing in facilities throughout North America and this may in fact be the best way to control the spread of infection,” said Bevan-Baker. “My concern is that residents and their families are very anxious about their well-being and have not been consulted or provided sufficient information on what is happening and why.”

“It is extremely important for government to not only mitigate the risk for our vulnerable seniors, but also clearly communicate the reasons for this decision and how it is taking this risk into consideration when it is making these decisions.”

“As in all instances of emergency, clear, consistent communication is crucial to help those impacted understand how their health, safety, and well-being is being protected. I am asking government to provide this information as clearly and simply as possible.”