A new motion has been tabled that could see public and not-for-profit long term care homes expand in Kingston. The motion comes in response to the shortcomings of private providers of long-term care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The motion, presented by councillor Mary Rita Holland, argues that there has not been an improvement in private long term care facilities. “Private providers of long-term care have not improved the standards of facilities, despite access to provincial funds and private dividend payment,” wrote councillor Holland.
Holland also argues that there are fewer staff on average in privately run long term care facilities. “The Ontario Health Coalition has presented significant research showing that for-profit homes have fewer staff on average than non-profit and municipal homes and that they pay their staff less than non-profit publicly-owned homes,” said Holland.
Privately run care homes were especially scrutinized after a military report outlined troubling details about the conditions of long term care homes throughout the pandemic. The report highlights that residents were not fed three times per day, there was often one PSW per wing with over 40 residents and staff at the facilities did not take proper care of deceased residents.
Kingston continues to see a higher aging population than the provincial average. In the 2016 census, 19.3% of the population were over the age of 65, about 3% higher than the province as a whole.
If passed, City Council will direct staff to provide a report by Q4 2021 outlining potential public property available for long term care facilities. The long-term care facilities would be leased for a minimum of 30 years.
The motion will go to a vote on May 18th, 2021.