The BC Government is developing a new standardized funding model for long-term care. This new model could enforce accountability around use of public funds, making LTC less profitable.
A standardized and transparent funding model should:
- Require that all contracted long-term care facilities that receive public money clearly report revenues and expenditures to the public and require that all surplus funds be spent on the care of seniors or be returned.
- Standardize reporting for direct care hours so that staffing levels and ratios can be independently verified and enforced.
- Ensure that all facilities that receive public money are required to be a part of a public sector master collective agreement, and to ban exploitative sub-contracting practices
Over the past twenty years, funding and access to seniors’ care has been reduced and rationed, while more publicly funded services are being delivered by for-profit companies, often in long term care facilities that combine publicly funded and private-pay beds. As a result, between 2008 and 2017, access to publicly subsidized units fell by 17 per cent. This has resulted in inferior care for seniors over many years, and a fractured system that was already in crisis before the start of the pandemic.
In the 2020 report “A Billion Reasons to Care,” the BC Seniors Advocate found that despite receiving the same level of public funding, for-profit long-term care operators were spending about $10,000 less each year per resident than non-profit operators. Those public funds, which were designated to be used for the care of seniors, were and continue to be pocketed as profits.