Skip to main content

Are we creating enough LTC beds?

Stats Canada research shows that between 2003/4 and 2009/10 the total number of residents in "homes for the aged" (a phrase  used by Stats Can to mean a range of LTC facilities)  increased from 76,866 to 84,873 in Ontario.  That is an increase of 8,007 residents, or 10.4%.   The number of people aged 85 or over in these homes increased quite a bit more rapidly,  growing by 18.8%. The 85 and over age group are now a majority in the homes.

The number of 'approved' beds is increasing more slowly, growing by 7,186 beds, going from 81,849 beds to 89,035.  That is an 8.8% increase.

In fact, the nursing home beds are not keeping up with the explosion in the number of people 85 and over, the main age group in the homes.   As reported a few days ago, the population 85 and over is growing very rapidly -- roughly four times more rapidly than the number of  LTC beds.

Contrary to what the Health Minister has suggested, these new nursing home beds do not make up for the hospital bed cuts.  They don't even make up for the growth in the relevant population.

This is not just passing problem.  The rapid growth in the 85 plus population is going to continue.   Ontario Ministry of Finance figures indicate that in the five years between 2006 and 2011 the number of people 85 and over increased 34%.  By 2016 the plus 85 set will have increased by 67% over 2006 -- and the ratio of those 90 and over compared to those between 85 and 90 will have increased from about 50% to 70%.

As one might expect, wait times for LTC beds have grown rapidly in recent years. Given the modest plans to expand the number of LTC beds, this may well get worse.  The growth in LTC beds is falling far behind the growth in the elderly population.

The Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Deb Matthews, is not concerned about this it seems. In her speech to the Ontario Hospital Association convention a few days ago she instead cited, approvingly, Denmark, which, she claims "hasn’t built a new nursing home since 1987."


Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.

Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 

No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…