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Quebec Ombudsman Marie Rinfret speaks during a news conference at the legislature in Quebec City on Sept. 24, 2020. Rinfret says several recommendations to improve home support services included in her last report and accepted by the province have not been implemented.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s ombudswoman says there are some home-care providers in the province that only offer one bath per week for seniors who do not have skin conditions.

Marie Rinfret released her annual report today, concluding that problems in home care persist year after year and support services are insufficient and suffer cuts regularly.

For example, she says, some institutions have cut back on baths for the elderly, from two or three a week to a single bath per week.

She says several recommendations to improve home support services included in her last report and accepted by the province have not been implemented.

Rinfret says the province’s health-care network must “evolve” to a culture of services as opposed to a culture of budget cuts.

She also found serious shortcomings at private seniors residences, including staff shortages, errors in the administration of medication and a lack of adequate supervision by regional health authorities.

“The Quebec (ombudswoman) insists that ongoing efforts are necessary in order to provide service users with what they need to live at home in dignity,” Rinfret said in her report. “If this is to happen, the mindsets at many institutions must evolve with a view to adopting and promoting a culture of services rather than one of cuts.”

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