Fixing long-term care in Canada could cost $13.7B, budget watchdog estimates

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OTTAWA — Canada's national budget watchdog says fixing the country’s long-term care system would come with a hefty price tag.

A report published this morning by parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux estimates ending wait lists, increasing staff pay and benefits, providing more hours of care each day and expanding home care could cost around $13.7 billion.

The analysis is based on a motion put on notice in March by Green MP Paul Manly.

The problems in the system have been documented for years but came to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic as long-term care residents bore the brunt of outbreaks and deaths during the first two waves.

Ryerson's National Institute on Aging says 57 per cent of the 26,555 Canadians who have died of COVID-19 lived in a long-term care home.

The third wave of COVID-19 this spring was less deadly in long-term care because a majority of residents were fully vaccinated by the time it began.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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