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INSIDE THE VILLAGE: Ontario is sending elderly patients to faraway nursing homes

This week's podcast marks our one-year anniversary. We spend it talking about the looming court battle over a controversial Ford government bill that kicks seniors out of scarce hospital beds

Welcome back to Inside the Village, a one-of-a-kind podcast where all news is local — and no topic is off-limits.

On this week's episode (our one-year anniversary): How the Ford government is freeing up scarce hospital beds — by moving elderly patients to nursing homes they don't want to go to.

The "More Beds, Better Care Act," which came into force last September, gives Ontario hospitals the authority to charge some patients $400 per day if they refuse to move into a long-term care facility. It also includes powers to move certain patients to nursing homes as far away as 70 km in southern Ontario and 150 km in northern Ontario.

At last count, the bill has been used to move thousands of elderly patients out of hospital, including at least 66 who were sent to nursing homes not of their choosing.

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

Our guest this week — lawyer Steven Shrybman of Goldblatt Partners, who represents one of the advocacy groups — explains what's at stake in the case, and what's to come in the months ahead.

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.

You can reach us at [email protected].

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