Private care beds typically costs thousands of dollars per month in rent, pharmaceuticals, toiletries and other expenses. Private operators like Masterpiece Southland Meadows get public funding from Alberta Health, but they’re for-profit businesses.
Understaffing, training and safety are issues that have plagued private residential care facilities. Quality of care at privately operated facilities, despite hardworking staff doing their best with limited resources, is a serious issue. Profit motives have been shown to have negative impacts on the quality of care people get. A recent study from the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute found private seniors care operators provide less care, are not as efficient and are not at all transparent compared to publicly-run facilities. The study found public facilities provide, on average, an additional hour of direct care compared to other ownership types.
In response to Alberta’s long term care crisis, Rachel Notley committed to opening 2,000 more long term care beds in 2015. In a direct reversal of this commitment, Alberta Health Services has closed long term care beds in two Alberta hospitals since the current government came into power.