Create safe long-term care: Phase out for-profit investors

The issue:

Not enough care: Too few staff mean too many residents do not receive safe and appropriate long-term care. Governments have failed to address the needs of our aging population despite years of warnings, leaving too many people without necessary care and too many staff facing precarious, stressful working conditions.

Failed regulation: Detailed regulations that primarily target staff means they spend more time documenting rather than caring. Combined with weak standards in some areas and poor enforcement, residents’ and care-givers’ lives are put at risk.

Deadly profit: The pandemic unleashed a nightmare for residents and families, especially in for-profit long-term care homes which had nearly twice as many residents infected during its first year and 78 percent more resident deaths compared with non-profit and municipal homes (Science Briefs of the Ontario COVID19 Science Advisory Table. 2021).

The solution:

National standards: Federal leadership is needed in program funding for long-term care, and so is legislation mandating enforceable national standards.

Staffing hours of care: Standards should include a requirement for a minimum of 4.1 hours of daily direct care for residents, with an appropriate number and skill mix of the workforce (Health Standards Organization, 2023).

Removing profit: For-profit long-term care homes and commercial delivery of care services should be phased out in favour of public, and non-profit management and operation where care will not come second to profits and shareholder dividends.

In response to the treatment of LTC home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, many survey respondents felt that abolishing for-profit long-term care was the most important issue to address within LTC.”

Health Standards Organization. (2022). What We Heard Report #1 – Findings from HSO’s Inaugural National Survey on Long-Term Care. Retrieved from

Stall, N.M., Brown, K.A, Maltsev, A., et al. COVID-19 and Ontario’s long-term care homes. Science Briefs of the Ontario COVID19 Science Advisory Table. 2021;2(7).

Health Standards Organization. (2023, January). Long-Term Care Services – CAN/HSO 21001:2023 (E). [National standard of Canada]. Retrieved from:

Read more:

Canadian Health Coalition. (February, 2024). Parliamentarians’ Briefing Note 2024