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FACT SHEET: Why Stop the Privatization of Long-Term Care

Posted: March 8, 2022

(March 8, 2022)

How Long-Term Care is Being Privatized

There have been two big initiatives to privatize LTC in Ontario in recent decades:

In 1998, Ontario’s Conservative Mike Harris government built 20,000 new long-term care beds and allocated the majority of them to for-profit corporations, including large chain companies. This tipped the balance from a majority public and non-profit LTC in Ontario to a majority for-profit LTC. Mike Harris went on to become the chair of Chartwell, one of the large for-profit LTC chain companies.

Now, the Ford government is building more than 30,000 new and rebuilt LTC beds, and a majority of them are allocated to for-profit chains. The top ten bed winners are all for-profit chains, including those with the very worst records for resident deaths, negligence, and inadequate care.

Why LTC Should Not Be Private

Public money and residents’ fees go to profit versus care

All LTC homes are funded by the public through taxes and residents’ fees for their beds. For public and non-profit homes, money goes to improving care, programs, and services for residents. In municipal homes, additional property tax money goes into improving care levels and better wages and working conditions for staff.

For-profit homes spend 24% less per year on care for each resident than for non-profit homes. Profit is removed from public funding and residents’ fees for investors and shareholders. In fact, the for-profit chains report to their shareholders that they are taking tens of millions of dollars out of the homes in profits every single month.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed horrific negligence in the for-profit homes compared to public and non-profit homes

For-profit homes have lower staffing and care levels and worse working conditions for staff

For-profit LTC homes have poorer outcomes for their residents

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