To the Editor:

Re: new Longterm Care Beds announced January 27, 2022

The January 27 announcement that 250 new long-term care beds are coming to our area has an ominous dark lining. All 250 are being allocated to the private for-profit sector. Time and again, the inadequacies of private for-profit healthcare have been demonstrated. Though residents of long-term care facilities make up only .5 per cent of Canadian population, they represented 64 per cent of COVID-related deaths. But more to the point, the deaths within the private for-profit facilities were double those in the non-profit sector and five times higher than in those operated by municipalities.

Ontario needs public, non-profit long-term facilities, where care comes before profits. Granted, not all private for-profit facilities failed their residents so tragically, but in far too many, the conflicts of interest cost people’s lives.

Yes, the 250 beds have been long needed and are most welcome, but the opportunistic privatization is not. The province has promised 15,000 new builds and 15,000 rebuilds in the next five years. Let’s demand that those 30,000 beds be part of the public healthcare system, where care is the sole focus.

Elaine MacDonald

Co-chair of the Cornwall Chapter of the Ontario Health Coalition