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VIDEO: Hundreds of hospital patients moved to nursing homes they didn't choose

Now the target of a Charter Challenge, the Ford government's 'More Beds, Better Care Act' allows certain elderly hospital patients to be moved to long-term care facilities 150 km from home

The Ford government is facing a Charter challenge over the "More Beds, Better Care Act," a controversial law that allows Ontario hospitals to force some elderly patients to pay up if they refuse to move into a long-term care facility.

The legislation also includes powers to transfer certain people to nursing homes outside their home communities: as far as 70 km for hospital patients in southern Ontario and 150 km in northern Ontario.

Last week, the Ford government disclosed how many patients have been moved so far to long-term care homes they didn't choose. The grand total? 293 and counting.

A pair of public health advocacy groups is leading the Charter challenge. They argue that the controversial legislation infringes on the right to life, liberty and security of the person under Section 7 and discrimination based on age under Section 15.

Lawyer Steven Shrybman of Goldblatt Partners, who represents one of the two advocacy groups, was a recent guest on Village Media’s Inside the Village podcast. He said he has “never encountered anything that's just so cynical and so cruel in its impact on the most vulnerable people in our community.”

“The government is saying: ‘OK, we’re going to move you whether you want to go or not — and if you don’t consent, we’re going to choose a home for you,” Shrybman said. “You’re not going to be included in the process of selecting a home, and ultimately if you refuse to go to a home that we’ve chosen for you, we will bill you $400 a day for every day you spend in the hospital.” 

You can watch our full interview with Shrybman HERE.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is available on this news site /insidethevillage. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

Are you or your loved one being impacted by the More Beds, Better Care Act? Please contact us at [email protected].

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