Senior care homes, COVID-19: death and working conditions

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JKR wrote:

jerrym wrote:

Canada's Covid senior care home crisis even prompted Lancet, a British medical journal that is ranked as one of the best in the world, to comment on the problem. The article sees the problem as involving the exclusion of these homes from Medicare, a lack of oversight, and the presence of the private sector as being a major factor in the death toll from Covid. 

Long term care homes should be under Medicare. So should pharmaceuticals, dental care, optometry, and, home care.

laine lowe wrote

I totally agree JKR. Univeral healthcare should cover all aspects from cradle to grave.


The new Angus Reid poll ( showing that three out of five Canadians want private LTC phased out, 72% want more invested in LTC, want more homecare and greater enforcement of standards, while only 1% want no change, shows that this could be an important driver in pushing voters towards having LTC under Medicare if some party seizes on the issue.


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The NDP would be idiots not to adopt this issue front and centre. Everybody is aghast at how horrible conditions are at long term care homes. Plus, many are realizing that the options between public, non-profit and private care are very limited with corporate giants like Rivera have a monopoly on the private sector options, super long waiting lists and exacting conditions for non-profit, and super horrible conditions (4 bedroom dorms sharing one bathroom) for public sector homes.


The Parlimentary Budget Officer (PBO) concludes that it would cost $13.7 billion, a doubling of current spending, to implement a series of major improvements to our long-term-care (LTC) facilities across the country to improve the terrible conditions in a broadscale manner from the terrible state that the Covid pandemic revealed that they were in. The Trudeau Liberal government is planning on spending a pittance of what is needed, $600 million a year over five years in new money. All the public health experts are warning us that even if we defeat Covid, it won't belong before we have another pandemic as humans move increasingly into places where they have not lived because of population growth and modern transportation can spread communicable diseases globally in less than a day. Furthermore, there is only one way that you don't need LTC at the end of your life. 

Governments would have to double their spending on long-term care to implement a range of improvements proposed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer says. The report says that public spending on long-term care across federal, provincial and territorial governments would have to increase by $13.7 billion at first, and that costs would grow at 4.1 per cent per year thereafter because of an aging population. In 2019-20, governments in Canada spent $13.6 billion on facilities-based long-term care.

The report was prepared at the request of Green MP Paul Manly, whose Motion 77 (M-77)proposes a number of changes to long-term care services in Canada. They include providing long-term care to anyone who needs it, increasing pay and benefits for long-term care workers in the private and non-profit sector, mandating four hours minimum of direct care per resident per day and increasing spending on home care to 35 per cent of total public spending on long-term care. ...

"The number of residents in long-term care is expected to rise due to population growth, population aging and changing socioeconomic circumstances of the elderly," the PBO report says. That rise in demand is expected to increase the cost of the changes to $17.5 billion by 2025-26, according to the PBO report. ...

The report estimates that 205,000 people in Canada lived in long-term care in 2019-20, with 52,000 on waiting lists. The report says most of the burden of any increase in spending would fall on the provinces. Of the $13.6 billion spent on long-term care in 2019-20, $13.2 billion was direct spending by provinces, says the report. ...

About $43 billion in health care spending is covered by the federal government — an amount premiers have said they want to see increased. They've called on the federal government to increase transfers by $28 billion, which would increase the federal share of health care spending to 35 per cent of the total.

In a statement, New Democratic Party health critic Don Davies called on the federal government to increase funding for long-term care.

"The PBO report makes it clear that there must be serious investment from all levels of government in long-term care," he said. "The federal Liberal government should help fund these changes through the Canada Health Transfer immediately."

Earlier this year, the federal government announced that it would spend $3 billion over five years to establish new standards for improved long-term care in Canada.