Nursing Home Act changes2021


Legislation Introduced To Extend Nursing Home Discharge Notification Period

Saint John, NB, Canada / Country 94

The New Brunswick government has introduced legislation providing more notice before nursing home residents are discharged.

“Caring for seniors is a priority for our government, and we regularly review our programs to make sure they reflect the needs of that sector and the residents served within it,” said Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch in a release.

“The department is proposing changes to improve the resident discharge policy to make sure that residents of long-term care facilities are better protected,” continued Fitch.

If approved, under the Nursing Homes Act, the notification period would go from 15-days to 30-days.

Cecile Cassista, executive director, Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights said the language currently in the act outlines a nursing home can let a resident go for any reason within the current time period.

“I think the 30-days is important, but also it’s important to note that the government is going to be providing a list which will be posted for 28-days for stakeholders (and the public) to respond, and I did ask for that list.”

The list will illustrate allowable circumstances for discharge, and in the province’s release it states, “it will be posted online in the coming weeks.”

“It’s not an easy thing to evict someone from a home, and I think there are all kinds of variables out there, especially with COVID-19 it has highlighted a lot of information, especially when there have been restrictions on families to be able to have access to their loved ones,” said Cassista.

The government also proposes adding a provision to the act that a resident can only be discharged from a nursing home under the circumstances detailed in the act’s regulation.

“The fact that, until now, there has been no limit on allowable reasons for discharge has been an area of concern among stakeholders … any discharge of nursing home residents will have to fit within the circumstances to be prescribed by regulation,” added Fitch in the government’s release.