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May 11, 2023 - MHA Jim Dinn - Petitions - Affordable and Accessible Dental Care for Seniors
02:33

May 11, 2023 - MHA Jim Dinn - Petitions - Affordable and Accessible Dental Care for Seniors

J. DINN: Thank you, Speaker. Speaker, this is a petition regarding access to dental care for seniors. These are the reasons for the petition: The 2016 Liberal budget eliminated the adult dental program for low-income seniors. Oral health has been scientifically proven to have a major impact on overall health, medical costs and the quality of life. The Adult Dental Program for youth and senior only cost government $2.5 million in 2015, and reversing these cuts would save our overstretched public health care system money and resources in the long term. Therefore, we, the undersigned, call upon the House of Assembly to urge the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure easy, affordable access to dental care for low-income seniors until the federal dental expands this fall. Speaker, really when I look at the processes around the adult dental surgical program there is an awful lot of what I call bureaucratic gatekeeping that probably doesn't have much to do with the actual health of the individual. I know when I was first elected, one of the first things that came across my desk had to do with trying to remove the lifetime cap of 10 intravitreal eye injections for people who suffer from things like diabetic macular edema; without them, these people would go blind. Thankfully it was recognized that it has more to do with gatekeeping and financial caps than about actual care. It probably costs more then to allow dentists to do the work, yet we have – for the surgical program we need dentists to determine if the work needs to be done; a doctor has to confirm that it is actually exacerbating underlying complex medical conditions. I am thinking here that it should be self-evident; we have spoken to doctors who are not comfortable with making that decision and feel it should be self evident that good oral care equates to good health care. We're asking here, and these petitioners, to step up and follow the lead of the federal programs. Stop the suffering now. Make sure we don't have the same number, 21,000 people, over five years or so visiting ER and let's look towards a healthier society for everyone, but for our seniors especially. Thank you.
May 3, 2023 - MHA Jordan Brown - Petition - Address School Teacher & Staff Shortage in Labrador West
02:40

May 3, 2023 - MHA Jordan Brown - Petition - Address School Teacher & Staff Shortage in Labrador West

SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Labrador West. J. BROWN: These are the reasons for this petition: All schools in Labrador West are dealing with a massive substitute teacher shortfall. They need more teachers, IRTs, guidance counsellors, school psychologists, support staff, maintenance workers, bus drivers and custodians. We regularly hear about potential teachers who could fill some of the vacant positions but can't accept the jobs because they cannot find affordable housing in the region. Government assured residents there would be an existing teachers apartments and add units to the empty first floor of the former Labrador School Board building. That work has never been carried out. Potential teachers can't take jobs as there is no affordable housing in the region. The CSFP has an extra challenge as, unlike NLESD, it does not own housing in Labrador West. Labrador West's affordable housing shortages, in recruitments, are a hurdle. Maintenance on all schools has fallen behind and is leading to poor learning environments. Therefore we petition the House of Assembly as follows: We, the undersigned, call upon the House of Assembly to urge the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to meet with Labrador West teachers and support staff and create a plan to address the issues of staffing, maintenance and teacher housing in Labrador West. Once again, Speaker, I get up to talk about this petition about the need for some communication, some dialogue and to listen to the teachers, the workers, the support staff, the parents of Labrador West when it comes around to the education. They're finding it very challenging, teachers are finding it very challenging right now in the situation. They spend most of their time on internal coverage, kids are missing classes and right now one of the IRTs had to close their walk-in resource room because they had to go and fill internally for another class. Now some students that require that service are now without that service because they had to go do some internal coverage. Right now the students and the teachers in the region are at their wit's end. They are frustrated, it's bothersome that there's no one addressing the issues, no one listening to them and they just want to be able to discuss this directly with the department and find some way forward. But right now they're finding roadblocks and they feel like no one is actually listening to them and their concerns. Yes, I understand my region is unique in some situations when it comes to on one hand we're very lucky to have such a great economic engine of the province in my backyard, but sometimes that economic engine creates other issues. That's where we actually need to have some dialogue and actually discuss some ways forward and not just brush it under the rug. Once again, Speaker, I ask that this government look at this issue, meet with the teachers of Labrador West directly, meet with the support staff, the workers, the bus drivers, the people that actually make a difference in children's lives, listen to what they have to say and come up with a plan. Because they're the ones who know because it's their backyard.
March 14, 2023 - J. Dinn - Petition - Keep Seniors Together in LTC
03:04

March 14, 2023 - J. Dinn - Petition - Keep Seniors Together in LTC

J. DINN: Thank you, Speaker. This petition is about keeping senior couples together in long-term care. To the hon. House of Assembly: WHEREAS senior couples should have the right to live together as they age; and WHEREAS seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador have worked hard to build this province and deserve dignity in care; and WHEREAS separating couples has a detrimental effect on their health and well-being; and WHEREAS the province has a rapidly aging population, which is one of the most important challenges confronting government; We, the undersigned, your petitioners, call upon the House of Assembly to urge the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to change its current policy of separating couples due to their differing levels of care in the publicly funded, universal long-term care system and direct regional health boards to do the same and pass legislation to this effect. I guess now with one regional health board that will take care of the problem in some ways. Ultimately, this is about staffing, about the lack of people to do the job and about finding those resources to do it. Speaker, we know that a number of the beds in the long-term care facilities in the St. John's metro area are closed because of lack of staff. We also know that there are a significant number of people occupying acute-care beds because the beds in these long-term care facilities are not open because they do not have staff. You can see this play out with the number of people who are looking to care for their elderly parents or loved ones. I was telling you yesterday about one person in particular who their mother was moved out to Placentia because of the fact that she needed to go into a long-term care facility but there's none here. I will tell you that this person would stop and see their mother daily, several times a day. She moved out to Placentia and it meant that she could not visit her on a regular basis. It was traumatic; it was detrimental to her health and to the health of her mother. The key thing here that prevented her is the same thing that prevents couples from being together. It comes down to a staffing issue. Somewhere along the line, Speaker, we've got to deal with this and address this and maybe look at training people up from within the system to do those skills. Thank you.
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