CARE-WATCH Jan 31, 2021: Long Term Care News

QUOTABLES:

Long-term care being at the epicentre of deaths in the pandemic, it is surprising that several provinces just aren’t committing the resources, aren’t putting the plans in place that would allow them to access this federal money.

David Macdonald, study author and senior economist at CCPA.
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CANADA LTC COVID Cases Jan 29, 2021

2496 Affected Homes

73127 Total Cases

13264 Deaths

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Canada News:

Provinces sitting on millions in COVID-19 funds for long-term care homes: CCPA

Almost a year into the pandemic, several provinces in Canada do not have sufficient plans in place to tackle COVID-19 in long-term care homes, according to a new report.

The study published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) on Tuesday found that six out of 10 provinces — Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta — have not been able to access the full amount of federal LTC funds because of that.

Almost a year into the pandemic, several provinces in Canada do not have sufficient plans in place to tackle COVID-19 in long-term care homes, according to a new report.

The study published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) on Tuesday found that six out of 10 provinces — Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta — have not been able to access the full amount of federal LTC funds because of that.

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Long-term care homes in Canada: How many and who owns them?

Picking up the tab

A complete accounting of federal and provincial COVID-19 measures in 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has required government leadership on a scale that’s unprecedented in modern Canadian times. Including liquidity and unallocated funds, federal and provincial governments have announced almost $600 billion in spending commitments across 849 measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This report is a “who is doing what” exercise, tracking which level of government has picked up the tab for COVID-19, which area the funding went to and, given most of the funding is on the federal government’s tab, how the provinces are spending their share of the transfers. It includes all measures announced on or before December 31st, 2020 and any measure in the three fiscal years from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

Among the key findings:

Federalism is doing its job, mostly: The federal government came into this global pandemic with the greatest fiscal breathing room. Even with historic investments in COVID-19 rapid response, the federal government is doing so in an environment of historically low interest rates, a manageable debt-to-GDP ratio, and a Bank of Canada that serves as a backstop. It’s only fitting that the federal government took the lead during this time of crisis: the federal government is spending $343 billion between the fiscal years 2019-20 and 2021-22—$24 billion of which is being transferred to the provinces.

In turn, the provinces have committed to spend $31 billion. In other words, of all direct spending commitments during the pandemic, only 8% is coming from the provincial governments; 92% of that spending is on the federal tab.

Most support for individuals and businesses has come from the
federal government: Almost all of the money provided directly to individuals or businesses is on the federal tab. Businesses are receiving more help than jobless Canadians. Individuals and businesses receiving government support are only receiving 4% and 6%, respectively, from provincial government coffers.

The feds are doing the heavy lifting on health care:

Health care is the third largest category, including spending on traditional direct health care costs like hospitals, doctors and nurses, but, also, long-term care, personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and mental health. This is a provincial jurisdiction, yet only 12% of COVID-19 health spending is coming from provincial coffers—88% of these expenditures is on the federal tab. The federal government is spending $30 billion on PPE, vaccines, testing and contact tracing. Another $9 billion is going to the provinces through Safe Restart agreements. The provinces are spending $5 billion of their own money on health care.

Almost every province is leaving federal money on the table:

Three out of 10 provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., New Brunswick) haven’t even spent the federal money transferred to them for COVID-19 health measures yet. Six out of 10 provinces (P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan) haven’t met the 50-50 cost sharing stipulation of municipal supports through the Safe Restart agreements. Six out of 10 provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C.) didn’t access the full federal amount to support low-wage essential workers. Six out of 10 provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) don’t have sufficient plans in place to access the full amount of federal long-term care funds, when all they have to do is show the feds their plans. Six out of 10 provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta) are sitting on billions of unallocated COVID-19 contingency funds that are built into their budgets.

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CAREWATCH is Inspired by Carol Wodak founding member of CITIZEN WATCH

BACKGROUNDER: CITIZEN WATCH was created as a public service for the people of Alberta.  It was the work of an ever-widening network of individuals from across the province, including families and friends of long term care and assisted or supportive living residents and those requiring long term care supports in their own homes. CITIZEN WATCH WEBSITE