Skip to main content

The future for long-term care looks grim: Mass privatization

Photo: LOLren
As with hospital beds, the government and other proponents of  the near freeze in new long-term care beds suggest that home care can take up the slack.

Does this stand up?  Well, let's take even a very aggressive version of this theory.  Say that 25% of all people in LTC could be dealt with through home care.   (Currently, that would mean evicting 19,250 LTC residents, which is hardly realistic!)

As noted in the previous post, the demographics of the province are rapidly changing, with huge growth in the elderly population, now and into the years ahead.

A 2011 study the Conference Board concludes "based on Statistics Canada‘s reported utilization rate by age and the Government of Ontario‘s population projection, it is estimated that by 2035—when boomers are 71 to 89 years old— 238,000 Ontarians will be in need of long-term care."  That is 161,000 more than the 77,000 LTC beds existing now.  

If we somehow can subtract 25% from 238,000 we still need 178,500 LTC beds.  That's 101,500 more beds than now.   If we assume that the wait list gets worse than the  current 19,000 person wait list-- to say 25,000 -- we still need 153,500 beds.  That is 76,500 more beds than the current 77,000.

In other words, even giving these generous assumptions to our opponents, we would still need to build, on average, 3,326 new beds each year until 2035 (76,500 beds / 23 years).

Over the last seven years we have averaged about 319 beds per year.

In other words we still have to increase the rate of new LTC bed creation by 1042% (3,326 / 319).

Barring that, we are going to face mass privatization and private provision of long-term care, as the elderly are forced into other options like retirement homes.

And that for a health care sub-sector that is particularly ill-suited to private payment or private insurance.

Comments

  1. A pretty good example of what this policy will mean was illustrated today in an Ottawa Citizen article on the pressure being placed on one elderly hospital patient to move to a private retirement home. See http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Daughter+fights+Ottawa+Hospital+plans+discharge+ailing/7767363/story.html

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.


This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.



Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.







As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…