Patient neglect, increased costs, and understaffing come from public-private partnerships in other provinces

NDP Health Critic Lorraine Michael

NDP Health Critic Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) continued her questioning on the government’s plan to bring the private sector into long-term care in the province. Michael says public-private partnerships have been repeatedly shown to cost more in other provinces, while at the same time drastically – sometimes dangerously – lowering the standard of resident care.

“The Premier says government won’t have to pay for building and operating the proposed new long term care facilities—just a per bed fee. But auditors in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario have shown P3s cost taxpayers more,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“I ask the Premier if indeed he has read these reports, and what analysis has he seen which refutes the auditors’ findings?”

Even more worrying than the increased costs, says Michael, are the reports of neglect that regularly surface in non-government –operated facilities in other provinces.

“The Saskatchewan ombudsman is investigating 35 complaints levelled against one private Saskatchewan seniors’ home – complaints including the deaths of vulnerable people from neglect,” she said.

“Can’t the Premier see the risks involved in privatizing long-term care?”

Michael also cites a case in which the United Nurses of Alberta went to court to get their government to force a for-profit nursing home to meet staffing requirements required under law, and wonders what the premier’s plan for monitoring the new model facilities is.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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