What’s Happening with Privatization of Long-Term Care in Newfoundland and Labrador?
On January 29, 2016, bowing to public pressure, the provincial government announced it had cancelled an RFP to design, build, and operate 360 long-term care beds – a process initiated by the previous government. Just twenty days later, the provincial Minister of Finance Cathy Bennett told the St. John’s Board of Trade that government is looking at P3s for all government services, including health.
The Research: Comparisons of Private and Public Long-Term Care in Canada and the US
Research in Canada and the US finds that staffing levels and hours of care are higher in public long-term care facilities than in private facilities. Public facilities perform better than private on a range of quality and outcome measures includes rates of pressure ulcers, weight loss, nutrition and hydration, and restraint use. Over-medication is also more of an issue in private facilities.
A recently published study of 384 for-profit and 256 not-for-profit long-term care facilities in Ontario found that for-profit facilities have significantly higher rates of both resident death and hospital admissions. Simply put, residents of public long-term care facilities are healthier, and happier.