Showdown: Public versus private

Edmonton, Trevor Robb, (February 29, 2012).

Tamara Daly, an assistant professor at the faculty of health at York University, spoke at the conference. Daly says, Ontario has the largest percentage of private for-profit nursing homes in the country and their entire retirement home sector is made up of private services.

Daly says that while the number of publicly-funded beds in nursing homes hasn’t gone up, the demand for those beds has increased dramatically and this has increased waiting times exponentially.

“People are waiting, on average, over 100 days for a bed in a publicly-funded space and so they’re having to make choices,” says Daly. “Some (nursing) homes have huge waiting lists, some of them are years long.”

Margaret McGregor, clinical associate professor at the Department of Family Practice at UBC, spoke at the conference and says that the evidence out there on staffing levels, quality of care, and cost do not show a benefit to moving towards privatization.

When asked if there was any benefit for the Alberta people if their government moves towards a more private, corporatized senior care system, both Daly and McGregor shook their heads, and simply replied, “No.”

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