Ontario needs more healthcare funding, says report on serial killer nurse

(Reuters) - Ontario needs to boost funding and staffing to resolve problems that allowed a Canadian nurse to murder eight and harm six other seniors in various nursing homes, according to a public inquiry report on Wednesday which called for sweeping changes to the province’s long-term care system.

Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a nurse at several long-term care facilities in southwestern Ontario, was convicted in 2017 of murdering the patients by intentionally overdosing them with insulin. Wettlaufer’s crimes went undetected until she confessed.

The report, written by Justice Eileen Gillese, put forward 91 recommendations to avoid future healthcare serial killings.

“It appears that no one in the long-term care system conceived of the possibility that a healthcare provider might intentionally harm those within their care and, consequently, no one looked for this or took steps to guard against it,” Gillese said in her public remarks at the report’s release in Woodstock, Ontario.

The crimes were discovered in 2016 when Wettlaufer told her therapist that she had committed the murders. She then made a confession to Ontario Provincial Police. She pleaded guilty to the crimes in 2017, and was sentenced to 25 years in jail without parole.

Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Richard Chang