Shock Strategy: Austerity wave hits nursing homes

The austerity sweeping the developed world is now hitting the elderly in nursing homes:

  • Cuts to US Medicare will lead to 20,000 layoffs in nursing homes according to a new survey of home operators. Another 20,000 jobs will be lost to foregone expansion plans. A new regulation cuts Medicare payments for therapy received in nursing homes by an average of 11.1%, reportedly.  Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care President Alan G. Rosenbloom warned that further funding cuts on the table could spell disaster for nursing homes.
  • Catalonia, one of the richest regions of Spain, simply ceased payments to care homes for the elderly and mental health clinics last week due to 'cash flow' problems. The government says it is a temporary measure, but a union representative says "We don't understand how the Catalan government, at a time of funding difficulties, can have concentrated these measures on one of the most vulnerable sectors in Catalan society."  These steps "are part of a shock strategy" as the regional government will not be able to fund certain health clinics for two months, health spokeswoman Susagna Caseras told AFP.
While the cuts in Ontario are far from this level, the government is now deepening its cuts, post-election.  

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