Health coalition wants province to stop giving LTC licences to for-profit companies

Heather Wright Photo

The Ontario Health Coalition says there is still time to stop the provincial government from giving for-profit companies from getting 30 year contracts for long term care home.

Natalie Mehra, coalition executive director, says the pandemic laid bare the long standing problems in long term care with more than 4,000 people in care who died because of COVID-19. For profit facilities had some of the highest casualty rates. There have been calls for the province to eliminate for-profit long term care homes in favour of non-profit or municipally run homes.

Instead, the province is in the middle of granting 30,000 beds in the system and is “rewarding some of the worst offenders” during the pandemic.

“The promise of a new day is slipping away. Instead of building the 46,000 new and redeveloped long-term care beds under public and non-profit ownership in a new capital development plan, the Ford government is in process of allocating the majority of the new beds to for-profit corporations,and the majority of those to large chain companies. Chief among them are the same chains that were responsible for the worst death rates in the pandemic and terrible records of care over many years,” she writes.

Mehra says there is still time to change course since nothing is finalized, if there is “public outrage.

“This report should serve as a warning and a call to action. It is not too late, but unless the Ford government is stopped, they are in process of setting up Ontario for another entire generation of for-profit long-term care.”

Liz Daniel, who worked for Revera in Ridgetown and Blenheim, said there are a myriad of problems in for profit care but nothing changed because the province reduced the inspection routine.

Daniel called for the return of surprise inspections noting when she worked in long term care, the homes knew when the inspectors were coming and prepared for them.

Shirley Roebuck, the head of the Sarnia Lambton Health Coalition is calling for the public to raise concerns now.
“We do have a chance but it the government doesn’t hear anything they will go ahead,” she says.