Fixing long-term care without hurling money at it

Randall Denley, The Ottawa Citizen

It’s great to see Ontario political parties finally focusing on the health and housing needs of seniors. The problem is the parties’ bidding war over who can build the most long-term care beds is a slow and expensive partial solution that won’t benefit most seniors.

Ontario does need more long-term beds, and the big payback will be clearing hospital beds that are occupied by people waiting for long-term care. That will make our hospitals and emergency rooms run more efficiently. However, even the most ambitious building plans offered by the political parties will only whittle away at the backlog of more than 30,000 people already waiting for long-term care, and at great cost. The Liberals plan to build 1,000 beds a year for the next five years, the industry itself recommends 2,000 beds and the NDP and Progressive Conservatives say they will do 3,000.

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