Long-term care homes and nursing homes have, for weeks now, been the epicentre of the fight against COVID-19 in Canada. Roughly 80% of the country’s COVID-19 deaths have been linked to long term care.

Now, a new analysis released by the Ontario Health Coalition has shed some light on the shortcomings of these facilities in Ontario. 

The study linked data about COVID-19 death rates to the funding status of these homes. They found that the rate of death in for-profit homes was 9 percent, compared to 5.25 percent in non-profit homes and 3.62 percent in publicly-owned homes.

Ontario Health Coalition, Ontario Long-Term Care Homes COVID-19 Deaths By Facility Ownership Type, Updated May 5th

Between April 28 and May 5, the increase in the death rate has been 28.5 percent in for-profit homes and 14% in non-profit homes. In publicly-owned homes, there has actually been a decrease of 18 percent.

These new numbers reflect criticisms that for-profit care homes have failed to adequately address outbreaks in their facilities. The private companies that own and operate these homes have been accused of putting “profits over people.”

Last month Ontario nurses had to take a for-profit long term care company to court in order to force them to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to nurses working at their homes.

Critics say the COVID-19 crisis has exposed a deeply flawed long term care system in Canada. The grim situation in seniors homes has sparked calls from unions, advocacy groups, and political parties demanding an end to for-profit long term care.