REGINA – In light of Extendicare’s Year-End shareholder meeting today, Matt Love, Official Opposition Critic for Seniors, renewed calls for the Sask Party government to end for-profit long-term care in Saskatchewan. Despite reports of chronic understaffing and overcrowding, leading to the province’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, Extendicare Inc. still managed to return a record $43 million in dividends to its shareholders.
“This is a company that clearly puts profits for shareholders over its residents. These are real people, with real families who are suffering all in the name of efficiencies,” said Love. “This has been a devastating example of the result of profiteering off people’s health.”
Extendicare is Saskatchewan’s only private long-term care provider, operating five facilities across the province. Since 2013, the Sask Party government has been receiving reports of inadequate care, overcrowding, and staff shortages in Extendicare long-term care homes but have chosen not to act. Throughout the pandemic, the for-profit care provider was able to benefit from $44.4 million in government funds for its operational and administrative costs related to COVID-19.
“The Sask Party government’s brand of for-profit care has failed families. Tragically, the pandemic exacerbated the problems, leaving SHA and the public sector to have to come in to stabilize care,” said Love. “Our seniors and long-term care residents deserve better and Premier Moe has a simple question to answer: what’s more important – seniors or profits?”
MLA Love and the Official Opposition are calling on Premier Moe and his government to return all for-profit care facilities back under the management of the SHA and to legislate minimum-care standards for long-term facilities.