The latest figures show there have been just under 6,500 deaths in Canada attributed to the SARS-CoV2 virus.
The vast majority of them however have been primarily among the elderly and others needing constant attention in long term care homes with recent estimates as high as 82 per cent of the COVID-19 deaths occurring there. The statistics have exposed the less than ideal conditions of care provided in several of these facilities.
Regulation of such facilities comes under provincial jurisdiction with no national standards or oversight of these facilities, most of which are privately run.
A new poll by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute now shows that a clear majority of Canadians think the situation should change.The poll shows that 66 per cent of Canadians feel that the government should take over such operations.
In Quebec which has had a very high rate of deaths in long term care, and where the military had to be called in to help, federal intervention in provincial politics is always discouraged and viewed badly. Some 270 facilities have been affected with over 2000 deaths. Premier Francois Legault has said there’s no need for the federal government to take over, but in this case nearly four in five (77%) Quebeckers think it would be a good move.
Canada’s most populous province, Ontario has also been hard hit with some 1,800 deaths in long term care homes.
An analysis by the Toronto Star news says residents of for-profit care homes are twice as likely to catch the virus and die when compared to those in not-for-profit care homes.
A study by the International Long Term Care Policy Network this month showed among 14 countries, including Germany and France, that Canada had the highest rate of death in these institutions. The study did not include the U.S., the U.K., or Italy as data is not collected in a similar way.
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal opposition New Democratic Party, has already called for the nationalisation of long term care homes. On May 12, federal health minister Patty Hajdu said the government was open to move “from a place of guidelines to a place of standards” for long term care homes.
The PM says it's not his responsibility to offer solutions to fix long-term care
82% of #COVID19 deaths are in long-term care
Let's work w/ provinces on a Care Guarantee & properly fund health care
We ALL have a responsibility to ensure our seniors are cared for pic.twitter.com/nJ93XmeEKY
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) May 14, 2020
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