Statement: RHRA Response to Auditor General’s Follow Up Report
The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) today welcomed the Auditor General of Ontario’s acknowledgement that the public interest regulator has implemented or is in process of implementing nearly 90 % of its recommended actions.
RHRA continues to make the safety and protection of seniors living in Ontario licensed retirement homes our top priority. RHRA appreciates the Auditor General’s diligence in identifying and tracking recommendations to help us effectively and efficiently fulfill our public interest mandate on behalf of the nearly 70,000 Ontarians living in more than 780 licensed retirement homes.
RHRA has fully implemented 43 % of the Auditor General’s recommendations and made progress on another 46 % of recommendations since the publication of the December 2020 value-for-money report. The regulator remains committed to addressing the Auditor General’s remaining recommendations.
Highlights of recommendations RHRA has fully implemented include:
- Working with the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility to obtain necessary approvals to collect needed information to strengthen the oversight of staffing and care services provided in retirement homes;
- Putting processes in place to assess whether all retirement homes have appropriate practices on infection prevention and control;
- Publishing outbreak data by retirement homes; and
- Confirming that all licensees have complied with the fire sprinkler installation requirement.
Progress has also been made in areas that include but are not limited to:
- Communicating the complaints process to residents and their families for residents in subsidized beds
- Supporting retirement homes to incorporate pandemic plans in their emergency plans;
- Establishing criteria for making emergency funding available should managers deployed to a retirement home under a management order require justifiable financial resources.
In addition to implementing recommendations made by the Auditor General, RHRA continues to explore ways to proactively prevent and reduce harm through its risk model, inspection program and enforcement activities, by helping Ontarians make informed choices, and by working with the sector to create a strong culture of compliance and reducing regulatory burden where appropriate.