Skip to main content

Long-term care: expansion or contraction?

A 2011 Conference Board of Canada report done for the for-profit long-term care (LTC) facilities in Ontario estimates (based on population projections and utilization by age) that 238,000 Ontarians will be in need of long-term care by 2035.  This compares with about 98,000 today.

So we are looking at a need to increase long-term care 143%.  

With a 1.5% annual increase in the number of LTC beds, the Conference Board estimates Ontario would be 127,000 beds short of need, with the gap gradually increasing year by year until 2035.  That's an increase of 103,000 from the current wait list of 24,000.

The report notes that government policies could affect utilization. Certainly, this is what the government appears to be hoping to achieve. But even moderating the  huge growth in need would require some big leaps in policy handiwork. A more likely scenario may just be to provide less care to those in need.

Compounding the problem,  the Liberal government may not choose to increase LTC bed stock by even 1.5% per year.

The Conference Board report sits at odds with a 2012 report also sponsored by the for-profit homes discussed yesterday.  Far from increasing long-term care beds at even the modest pace of 1.5% per year, that report suggested reducing the number of long-term care beds and increasing short stay beds focused more on the treatment of patients rather than the daily living activities of residents.  

That strategy may sound good to a government focused on cutting costs and reining in the number of long-term care beds, but it doesn't appear to deal with some basic demographic realities.  

The current wait list blew up in just a few years -- a  bigger list may be coming if the government doesn't develop long-term care.


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…