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.

Popular posts from this blog

Deficit? Public spending ain't the cause. Revenue, however...

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it.

Another option -- increasing revenue from corporations and the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces.

Instead, it indicates Ontario has very low revenue. 
Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have an over-spending problem.  If anything, this suggests we have an under-spending problem.







The Ontario government has also now reported in the 2014 Budget that Ontario has the lowest revenue per capita of any province.  This is particularly notable as other provinces are quite a bit poorer than Ontario and therefore have a much more limited ability to pay for public spending.  (Also notable in this…

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…

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 …