Skip to main content

Moving patients from public hospitals to private retirement homes

Health Sciences North hospital in Sudbury is planning to replace 30 hospital beds with a 25 bed unit inside a private retirement home, the CBC reports.
OCHU/CUPE members protest earlier bed closures at Health Sciences North
Richard Joly of the Northeast Community Care Access Centre says "We are committed to reducing the population that are currently residing in hospital."
Like many other hospitals, Health Sciences North is grappling with a significant deficit as government funding is squeezed.  Six million dollars in the case of HSN.

Hospital officials claim the hospital beds cost $750 per day each and putting 25 beds in a private retirement home would cost $4 million less than having them at the Memorial hospital site.  In February, the hospital will stop funding the 30 beds.
Similar strategies have been tried in other locales with disastrous results. In Windsor, a local hospital paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to remodel a for-profit retirement home, only to find out that even with the remodeling, the beds still did not meet the required standards.  When the project failed, the hospital made new plans to open the beds in the hospital itself.   

In Ottawa hospital patients were moved to a private retirement home as well, including  a 92-year-old Ottawa woman. She died in September 2008, two months after being transferred to the retirement home.  According to the Chief Coroner, she died in part because of inadequate care there.  The Coroner also warned the practice could put other elderly patients at risk.

There have also been many other reports of problems of for-profit retirement homes providing care to fragile patients.   It's not clear if the Hospital and CCAC have developed any strategies to mitigate the potential problems.

North Bay Regional Health Centre Review by KPMG
The North Bay hospital has hired accounting firm KPMG to to review its programs, services and staffing as it tries to balance its budget. Similar issues with alternate level of care patients as in Sudbury will figure prominently here as well. The KPMG report is expected in January.  



Comments

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…