For years serious questions have been raised around accountability, monitoring and financial oversight in BC's long term care homes. COVID-19 has exacerbated and shone the spotlight on these issues. It’s clear that our seniors have borne the worst outcomes of the pandemic, and that they deserve much better than the care they’ve received.
We also need to have a broader discussion about how people age and the importance of reducing isolation amongst seniors. We should be expanding our imagination to rethink how seniors live in our neighbourhoods, our communities and our society.
We need to improve wages and working conditions in the sector, and we need to address the issue of for-profit ownership in our public care system. Our public money supports people in care homes whether they are run by health authorities, not-for-profit organizations or private companies.
We need to ensure the companies that exist today are meeting the standards required for adequate care. There is far too little accountability with regard to how public funds are being used. We will establish annual inspections, and require standard financial statements and audited expense reports of all private facilities, so that there is confidence that the public funding is being used to create better healthcare outcomes for seniors, not creating more profit for shareholders.
Most of all, we need to begin to shift the sector away from a for-profit private company model. Our seniors are not a commodity that should be earning some investor a profit—they are our parents, our grandparents. It's time we shifted our tax dollars away from for-profit long-term care in BC, and instead build a high quality and accessible system of seniors care in this province.
The BC Greens' plan for Seniors' care
We need to shift away from the practice of contracting out care, where public funds flow towards for-profit, private long-term care providers.