LETTER – Think you’re getting quality care at a private long-term care home? Think again

Dear editor,

In February, the Seniors Advocate Report came out and had some startling news, especially in regards to funding and monitoring, accountability, openness and transparency in contracted long term-care facilities.

Residing in a private care home, one would think that the care would be superior, but the reality is that you are really in a for-profit care home. This means that the care homes’ priority is to make a profit for the owners. Decisions are made by the owners based on making a profit. Imagine, making a profit caring for seniors, many of whom are vulnerable, and may have complicated care issues and are unable to advocate for themselves.

A bed in a long-term care facility costs $7,500 per month. Families who take an Island Health bed pay according to how much income a person has. That is 80 per cent of the residents’ earnings to a maximum of $3,444.60, with the rest paid by Island Health. This money comes from taxpayer dollars, so we are all funding these beds through our tax dollars. If you have a private bed, you pay the full amount.

For-profit care homes in B.C. generated 12 times the amount of profit and/or surplus than generated by the non-profits. The difference is $34.4 million for for-profit care homes versus $2.8 million profit and/or surplus generated by the non-profit care homes. We need governments to look at these inequities and ask themselves why we are allowing for-profit care homes to be built or bought. We should not be allowing for-profit care homes in Canada!

Greta Judd,

Comox Valley

Letter to the Editor

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