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The essential elements of a program for the future of long-term care include:

  • Federal government leadership to fund and create high quality, publicly owned long-term care facilities. Canada Health and Social Transfer funding would place new and significant obligations on the provinces to create public long-term care programs and facilities.
  • A moratorium on any new private sector long-term care beds including public private partnerships enforced through CHST funds.
  • The establishment of a separate fund to facilitate the conversion of private facilities to public ones.
  • A CHST cash incentive to provinces that create new public long-term care beds, reinforcing the moratorium on private sector expansion.
  • Federal and provincial governments assuming greater responsibility for funding long-term care. Fifty-fifty federal/provincial cost sharing for new long-term care facilities and programs before the year 2010 should be a target.
  • A redefinition of long-term care to include care delivered in settings ranging from geriatric hospitals to nursing homes to supportive housing. These facilities would be government funded and publicly administered and operated, including delivery of services.
  • Support to provincial governments to facilitate the seamless delivery of care by merging departments of health with departments of social services, where they have not already done so. Integration of care will allow for coordination of care across many settings, meeting needs of the elderly and the disabled more effectively. Only public administration of the programs and delivery of care can ensure that integration occurs effectively and efficiently.
  • The establishment of a federal Home and Community Care Act which would establish the principles (similar to the Canada Health Act) and regulations for the provision of long-term care, or the incorporation of a redefined long-term care provision into the Canada Health Act.