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7 people fined $400 a day for refusing LTC transfers: Ontario government

Seven people in Ontario have been fined for refusing transfers from a hospital to a long-term care home not of their choosing.

A law enacted in 2022 requires hospitals to levy fines of $400 a day on patients who can be discharged but need long-term care and are refusing to go to a home selected for them by a placement co-ordinator.

The government has long said it was not aware of anyone being fined, with Long-Term Care Minister Stan Cho saying as much as recently as two weeks ago.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Sylvia Jones now says that seven people have actually been fined, but that the ministry was not aware of those cases.

If a fine is issued, a care co-ordinator at a hospital is required to report that to Home and Community Care Support Services, which is then required to report that information to Ontario Health, Hannah Jensen wrote in a statement.

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“Ontario Health and Ontario Health Regional Officer should have been reporting these instances of charges to the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Long-Term Care,” she wrote. “This last step was not being completed.”

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Jensen was not immediately able to say when each of those people were fined, if any of them are still being charged $400 daily, or the total amount of their fines.

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NDP Leader Marit Stiles called the explanation a “flimsy” excuse.

“Ontarians aren’t buying it,” she wrote in a statement. “More vulnerable people will be put in this situation if the government doesn’t get rid of a law that we in the NDP, experts and families have been telling them is flat-out cruel.”

The revelation that fines have been issued comes shortly after The Canadian Press reported that nearly 300 patients had been moved to long-term care homes not of their choosing. The law, known as Bill 7, can see those patients placed in homes up to 70 kilometres away — or 150 kilometres if they are in northern Ontario — without their consent.

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Those 293 people ultimately moved to a long-term care home they did not consent to be in, but the seven people who were fined would have refused to leave the hospital.

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