Should Long-Term Care Management Be Lifted From City?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Fed U/Marre 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #737404 Reply

    Ken Gray

    The top post in The Bulldog at 6 p.m. Tuesday says the son of a mistreated resident at the Peter D. Clark Centre is calling for top management of long-term-care centres be taken away from the City of Ottawa due to abuse and errors dealing with residents.

    His mother has had ‘horrible’ errors in her treatment by PDC staff, the son says.

    Should that happen?

    #737424 Reply


    I can tell you with certainty that if I was there and reviewed the staff records, I would have a lot of people from the top on down getting pink slips within a few hours.

    Then I’d work my way through the rest (should take a few days).

    If I had the power I would also force several resignations from elected ones too.

    #737444 Reply

    Ron Benn

    The bigger question is what “businesses” should government be in. My starting point is that if the service is offered by private enterprise, then government should not be offering a competing service. Public Private Partnerships (PPP), when executed properly, can be successful. The key is understanding what each party should bring to the table, and making certain that they do not stray from that role. The most frequent failure of a PPP is when the roles are not properly laid out, or respected.

    The role for government, in the case of extended care facilities, should be that of regulator. There is and can be a funding element as well. Note that both of these elements are at the provincial level, as health care is a provincial responsibility. The city, while a proxy for the province, has no need to trouble itself in either role. The operator is responsible for the safe, healthy operation of the home, including hiring, training, supervising and, if necessary terminating the employment of its employees. The operator is responsible for ensuring that all government regulations are met, and preferably exceeded. The operator will be very concerned about negative publicity, as most operate a significant number of facilities, and there is an element of competition in attracting residents. Some of these operators are publicly listed companies, and the senior management team will be very sensitive to negative publicity, as it affects share prices. The private operator is not burdened with local political meddling (Chairperson Diane Deans may wish to take note), nor are they burdened with the excessive costs associated with government employees (benefit plans, pensions, vexatious grievance procedures). One of the larger operating costs of an extended care facility is compensation, and when compensation expense is disproportionate to revenues, which are generally fixed by regulation, then there is pressure on the facility manager to limit staffing levels, which in turn leads to additional stress for staff, and possibly poorer quality treatment of the residents.

    For those who perceive this as a union bashing effort, please accept my apologies, for that is not my intent. There is a necessary role for unions in the employment framework. The challenge arises when the private sector is not unionized but the public sector is, and the two overlap in a competitive environment, especially where the government is both the regulator and the competitor.

    An excellent local example of a successful PPP arrangement is the Sensplex recreational facilities. The priviate partner designs, builds, and operates the facility. The city agrees to rent a large block of ice time, most if not all of which is prime time, thus setting the minimum revenue floor, which the private partner leverages when negotiating their long term debt financing. The city then allocates, in return for cash, the ice time to local minor hockey associations, to support the city’s policy of encouraging recreational activity. The private partner is responsible for hiring, training, and supervising staff, once again at market labour rates, rather than those imposed on it by a government union. My observation has been that the quality of the ice at the SensPlex facilities is far and away superior to the ice in the city owned facilities. The Zamboni driver has been trained on how to turn the spigot a 90 degrees as he/she approaches the end of the rink, so as not to put down 5 or 6 layers of water in front of the net, and there is a supervisor making the rounds from time to time to observe that the ice is being cleaned and flooded properly. Along the same vein, dressing rooms are cleaned immediately after use, not as and when staff feel like it. Food and beverage offerings are also far superior at the SensPlexes, and there is a tuck shop if a player needs a roll of tape, or their skates sharpened, or a helmet repair kit. Shop hours tend to mimic the usage schedule, not that prescribed by the union contract. If you have any concerns, there is generally an onsite manager, who will listen to you, and join you on a visit to the area of concern. Try finding anyone in a position of authority during facility hours, as contrasted with city office hours, at a city owned hockey rink.

    #737449 Reply


    I am not sure exactly as of when but municipalities have been running Public Nursing Homes for many,many years.
    It is part of the Social Safety Net.
    Keep the private sector out of Public Care but please let’s have responsible municipal leadership.

    #737494 Reply

    Fed U/Marre

    Over a decade ago, visited numerous nursing homes in Ottawa on behalf of a parent.
    The one that least impressed me was city run; we settled on what is now termed ‘for profit’ and the person received very good care. One incident with an employee disregarding their patient and it was handled immediately and to my satisfaction by the Director of Care.
    How the city has allowed patients to be treated is disgusting, perhaps even abusive.
    The city is not capable of running these homes and they should be sold to the private sector who know what they are doing.


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