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Ontario auditor: at least 99 patients placed in LTC homes without their consent

TORONTO — Ontario's auditor general has found that at least 99 hospital patients have been placed in long-term care homes without their consent.

The annual report from the auditor general's office this week says the government has not been transparent in implementing a law that allows hospital placement co-ordinators to transfer those patients, and can see them charged $400 a day if they refuse.

The auditor says the Ministry of Long-Term Care does not know how many patients, if any, have been charged since the law came into effect last year, because neither they, nor the Ministry of Health, nor Ontario Health, are tracking that.

The law, which went into effect in September of 2022, is aimed at moving so-called alternate level of care patients, who can be discharged from hospital but need a long-term care bed and don't yet have one.

Opposition politicians and seniors' advocates have roundly criticized the law, which can see those patients placed in homes up to 70 kilometres away, or 150 kilometres if they are in northern Ontario.

The auditor general analyzed the placements of 7,357 alternate level of care patients between the law taking effect and March 31 of this year, and found that about 40 per cent were placed in their first-choice home, about 60 per cent in one of their lower-ranked homes, and 99 were placed without their consent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press