Health Minister orders investigations into Covenant Health allegations
Published Tuesday, September 10, 2013 5:08AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 10, 2013 6:37PM MDT
Health Minister Fred Horne has called the situation at a Lethbridge long-term care facility ‘disturbing’ and has ordered two investigations to find out what happened.
The health watch dog Friends of Medicare revealed that on September 1, a staff member from St. Therese Villa found mice nibbling on the face of one of their residents, an elderly woman suffering from dementia.
The rodents had managed to draw blood, but the patient is being treated and will fully recover.
But that doesn’t change the fact that there are ongoing issues at the facility, the group says.
They claim that staff has been expressing concerns over mice for more than a year and they’ve also been battling with bed bugs.
Covenant Health says that they’re investigating the allegations that have come forward and they’ve already taken steps to deal with the environmental concerns.
The authority says they’ve cleaned all the affected areas according to standards.
Fred Horne says there are inspectors at the facility to find out what happened. “This is completely unacceptable whatever the circumstances are and quality trumps all in the health care system. I have inspectors on the ground today. They will find out how this happened and more importantly how to prevent this from happening again. It's completely unacceptable in this province and I will not tolerate it.”
Horne said in a press conference Tuesday that he was ‘angry’ such a thing could possibly happen, and complaints from staff have been raised before.
Covenant Health says they are continuing to investigate the allegations.
They have released a full statement on the issue.