May 27, 2022
By Jane Brown
We’re learning that nursing home chains with some of the highest COVID-19 death rates are set to reap big financial rewards if Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives are re-elected.
A Toronto Star report says under the Tories’ planned $6.4 billion expansion of the province’s long term care system, more than half of the 60,000 new and redeveloped beds are set to go to private, for-profit companies.
And many of these homes had far higher COVID-19 death rates than non-profit and city-run chains.
The report says the end result is billions of dollars in taxpayer money going to the very model of elderly care that failed during the pandemic and which resulted in nearly 4400 resident deaths.
Meantime, three of the four main party leaders in the Ontario election are promising to put an end to for-profit long term care.
The NDP’s Andrea Horwath points to the thousands of COVID related deaths, the majority of which were in for-profit nursing homes.
“I think what we are risking with a Ford government is more and more privatization of our healthcare system and we have seen very very quickly and starkly and in a horrifying way what privatization and healthcare does. Just look at what happened in long term care,” Horwath explained on Thursday.
The Liberals’ Steven Del Duca is also promising to rid long term care of for-profit operations, but not until 2028.
What he is looking to do sooner is invest $4.4 billion over four years on expanded homecare.
“As Ontarians we know that our seniors deserve to have the support at all times, to remain at home for life,” Del Duca explained.
And the Green Party’s Mike Schreiner says he would increase base funding for long-term care by 10 percent to begin the shift to non-profit elder care.