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News Brief

Majority of Manitobans ‘Do Not Trust’ Private, For-Profit Companies Running Long-Term Care Homes

Two-thirds of Manitobans say they want to replace private, for-profit nursing homes with public, non-profit management

Manitobans are growing unhappy with private sector companies managing the province’s long-term care homes.

Two-thirds of Manitobans want to see the government or non-profit agencies take greater control over the management of long-term care homes, according to new polling data from Probe Research that was commissioned by CUPE Manitoba.

Manitobans don’t trust private sector to manage nursing homes: Nearly all respondents (94%) have little or no trust in private sector management of long term care and would support minimum staffing level regulations.

Seniors (55+) and women make up the strongest supporters for government or non-profit takeovers of long term care, and for minimum staffing level regulations.

Probe Research

Manitoba LTC homes have reported some of the highest death rates in Canada during the pandemic: According to data compiled by journalist Nora Loreto, Manitoba has the second highest number of long term care deaths per capita in Canada. There are currently 72 COVID-19 outbreaks in Manitoba’s long term care homes,. In Winnipeg, 31 out of 39 long term care homes currently have COVID-19 outbreaks. There are 137 personal care home workers in Winnipeg with active COVID-19 cases.

Nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba have been linked to long term care homes. The worst outbreaks have occurred at Parkview Place and Maples Long Term Care Home in Winnipeg, both run by Ontario-based Revera Inc. Maples has a death rate of 32%, or 56 out of 169 beds.

Deaths in long term care account for 76% of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada.

Health care workers and labour groups pushing to get of for-profit companies in long-term care: “Make Revera Public,” a national campaign from health worker unions and advocacy groups, is calling on governments to take over the management of private, for-profit LTC homes operated by Revera, one of the largest for-profit LTC home companies in the country.

A May 2020 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report outlined concerns with for-profit staffing policies during a pandemic:

“Especially given the low wages and benefits, most of these part-time and casual workers want and need full-time work. As a result, they take another part-time job at another care home, travelling there by public transit because few can afford a car. The risk of sharing any virus is obvious.”

[Probe Research]

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