Care home reports will be online soon, government says
Two days after a special CBC News/Radio-Canada report on Saskatchewan's personal care homes, the provincial government is promising to publish, online, inspection reports for families to read.
On Tuesday, CBC News — after going through a Freedom of Information process — published as many reports as were available regarding 193 personal care homes.
The homes, many run by private sector operators, look after seniors who are no longer able to live on their own. About 3,000 people live in personal care homes throughout Saskatchewan.
Inspection reports, which are supposed to be done on a yearly basis, provide information about whether a home is meeting a number of regulatory requirements. The reports cover a wide range of areas, including fire safety and information about bathing and meals.
The government was planning on publishing the reports, online, in the fall of 2014.
However, following two days of heated debate in the legislature, the government and opposition passed a bill that includes measures to put the reports online.
It is expected the reports will be available in a few weeks.
According to the Minister of Health, Dustin Duncan, the initial online reports will be .pdfs of paper forms. The ministry is still working on creating an electronic version of the same reports.
"I think there is interest from the public to be able to make an informed decision about a personal care home that they're choosing for themselves or for a family member," Duncan said Wednesday. "I think that this is a good way to provide that information, even if it is a little bit earlier than we had suspected it would be."
The Opposition NDP, which raised the issue repeatedly in Question Period, pressed the government to move quickly.
"This is about families having access to really important information and making decisions with where their loved ones will live," NDP leader Cam Broten said Wednesday. "That's why this information needs to be up."
Replay the Saskatoon Morning live chat below.
With files from CBC's Stefani Langenegger