The provincial government has established a commission to look at long-term care homes and how they have dealt with COVID-19 and general care.

However, according to Sudbury MPP Jamie West, most people want to see a public inquiry.

He says he held an online town hall meeting to discuss the inherent problems in long-term care such as neglect, shortage of staff and beds, long waiting lists and general health care.

Participants in the online meeting were told that only an independent public inquiry will ensure that the inherent problems in long-term care (LTC) homes are resolved and that accountability will prevail.

Maria Casas, a Sudbury registered nurse with more than 36 years of experience says the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything by forcing all workers in all homes to put in the extra effort.

She also agrees with West that more staff and more funding are needed to maintain a high level of care for residents.

She also agrees there should be a public inquiry to allow care workers, families and patients/residents themselves to share their concerns and experiences.

Participant Terry Martyn, the co-chair of the family council at Pioneer Manor in Sudbury says his wife has been a resident there since 2013.

He says people know throughout the province that COVID hit some areas more severely than others, so there should be a more regional approach to decision-making.

He also agrees with the consensus that an inquiry would provide more details and more input from the people who matter most, the families and the residents of long-term care, as well as their caregivers.