Canada’s political leaders are being forced to seriously rethink how we approach long-term care, driven by shocking revelations of the abuse that has taken place in Ontario and Quebec and the impacts of COVID-19 more broadly. Different solutions to the current problems have been proposed, which reflect different political traditions — democratic socialists seeking collectivization, classical liberals seeking freedom and choice, and classical conservatives emphasizing tradition, responsibility and partnership.
The NDP have called for an end to private-sector involvement in long-term care, saying that, “It is time to remove profit from the care of seniors.” Less private-sector involvement is, of course, the solution to every problem if you are a social democrat.
The alternative classical liberal response to these events would likely be to argue that diversity and choice among providers can drive improvements in quality. Let seniors choose what they want and perhaps provide them with a portable financial benefit to use for their care. That way, institutions can make profit, but only in proportion to the degree that they are meeting the expectations of the seniors they serve.
Originally published in the National Post. To continue reading, click here.
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