Liberals, Tories out of step with key findings of new long-term care survey

A new Angus Reid survey shows Canadians want transformational change in the provision of long-term care after the pandemic exposed systemic failures in the way we house and care for the elderly.

Respondents indicated a strong desire to eliminate the profit motive in looking after some of society’s most vulnerable people.

In Atlantic Canada, 64 per cent supported “phasing out private companies operating LTC facilities.”

Nationally, 75 per cent advocated making long-term care “a fully integrated part of the public health system.”

Of the three major parties in Nova Scotia, only the NDP appears to be in synch with these sentiments.

In its recently released vision document, the party commits to “taking the profit out of long-term care by investing any new public money in public and non-profit facilities.”

The Progressive Conservative platform and detailed LTC plan make no mention of a desire to move away from privately owned or operated facilities.

The governing Liberals, who have yet to release their campaign platform, made no discernible effort to change the province’s LTC model during their nearly eight years in power.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Nova Scotia has 84 long-term care facilities, of which only 14 per cent are publicly owned. Private for-profit enterprises account for 44 per cent of the province’s LTCs, while 42 per cent are owned by not-for-profit organizations.

Northwood Manor, a Halifax facility that had 53 of Nova Scotia’s 65 first-wave COVID-19 deaths, falls into the not-for-profit category.

But numerous reports, including one by Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s science advisors, have found COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths more prevalent in for-profit LTCs than in non-profit facilities.

(Photo: Sabine van Erp from Pixabay)