A Thursday Canadian Institute for Health Information report concluded that Canada ranks the worst in terms of coronavirus-related deaths in elderly care homes among the 16 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
As reported by The Jakarta Post, the report claimed that 81 percent of coronavirus deaths in Canada stemmed from long-term care homes, which is significantly more than the OECD average of 42 percent. According to the report, the country has a higher proportion of seniors aged 65 and older living in care homes than the OECD average. In addition, these individuals tend to also be older on average.
After Canada, the other countries that rank worst are Spain with 66 percent, Israel and Norway with 58 percent, Ireland with 56 percent, Belgium with 50 percent, France with 48 percent, and the United States with 31 percent. However, despite leading the list in elderly care home deaths, Canada has a “relatively low” overall mortality rate compared to other nations on the list.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touched on the results of the report and put pressure on provinces to address the problem.
“This report confirms what we all suspected: Canada is not taking care of our seniors as it should be,” he said.
In an op-ed for Ottawa Citizen, the editorial board addressed the result of the report and called on Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford to stop pointing fingers and begin preparing for the possible second wave of the pandemic.
“This political posturing creates little confidence that, should a second wave hit, Canada’s leaders will have a better plan for protecting our most vulnerable population.”
The board outlined several disturbing findings from the report, including that 72 percent of Canadians over the age of age 80 who contracted coronavirus have died; that hospitals ejected many elderly patients to care homes in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 cases that didn’t happen; and that long-term care facilities lacked provisions that allowed family members to assist with care, which led to facilities leaning on help from the Canadian military.
According to the op-ed, Trudeau, Ford, and other leaders have information available that provides a path to improving these issues.
“Many studies already point the way to improved long-term care, if the political will is there. It’s not just a matter of regulation; it’s a matter of action – which may take more money, including private money.”
In other recent Canada-related coronavirus news, two of the country’s researchers claim that marijuana holds the potential to battle coronavirus. In particular, the researchers, Olga and Igor Kovalchuk, claim that cannabidiol, or CBD, could be used to fight the disease.