Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman has apologized for his comments about “seriously considering” wearing an adult diaper to better understand the condition in nursing homes.
“I guess it’s not surprising that people have jumped on it but I’m disappointed that anyone would see this as trivialization,” he told Global Morning News Thursday. “I really didn’t mean it that way.”
The comments were made Wednesday at Queen’s Park following complaints from nursing home staff about residents being forced to wear soiled diapers for much of the day because there are not enough caregivers to change them.
The fallout in response to those comments by various opposition parties Thursday was vast.
Some have called for the health minister’s resignation for the insensitive remarks and others have asked Mr. Smitherman to come up with a concrete solution to improve long-term care in the province.
“If people were offended or think I shouldn’t have raised those comments. I apologize,” Mr. Smitherman told a Toronto radio station Thursday.
Valerie Hanley, whose elderly mother is one of the 75,000 people living in long-care in the province, was disgusted by the health minister’s comments.