Quebec coroner slams province for response to 1st wave deaths in long-term care – CBC

Coroner Géhane Kamel publishes final report after hearing from hundreds of witnesses

May 16, 2022

The lack of independence granted to Quebec’s public health director may have slowed the government response at the beginning of the pandemic, as hundreds were dying in long-term care homes across the province.

Coroner Géhane Kamel published a report Monday following months of inquiry into deaths in seniors’ residences, where the pandemic killed more than 5,000 in the spring of 2020.

After hearing testimony from 220 government officials, long-term care home employees, and the loved ones of people who died, Kamel issued 23 recommendations targeting the provincial government, its Health Ministry, local health boards and the Quebec College of Physicians.

One of the report’s first recommendations calls on the government to review the role of its public health director so that whoever is in the position can exercise their functions “without political constraints.”

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