Private long-term care: more profit, less care

CUPE news: Important new data is now available on the relationship between private, for-profit ownership and quality of care in residential long-term care facilities. Researchers Margaret McGregor and Lisa Ronald recently published a report entitled Residential Long-Term Care for Canadian Seniors: Nonprofit, For-profit or Does It Matter?

  • Click here for the full study on the Institute for Research on Public Policy’s (IRPP) website.

The evidence is clear:

  • Private, for-profit residential long-term care facilities are not providing Canadian seniors the level of care they need (indicators of poor care quality include such things as rates of pressure ulcers or bedsores).
  • Private, for-profit long-term care facilities are much more likely to have lower staffing levels than non-profit and public facilities.
  • In many cases, the higher the profits are in the private care facilities, the lower the quality of care.
  • Public and not-for-profit facilities offer better care.

“We have reviewed Canadian and U.S. research evidence on the link between ownership and care quality and concluded that contracting out care to private, for-profit facilities is likely to result in inferior care compared to the care delivered in public and non-profit facilities,” McGregor and Ronald wrote in an article published recently in a major newspaper.

Their work provides even more evidence of the importance of public funding, administration and delivery of health care and of the need for standards in long-term care, including minimum staffing levels.

Many CUPE members work in facilities in which they do not have the support and resources to provide the care they would want residents to have.

CUPE believes care standards should focus on people, not profit.