A new analysis released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that while Canada’s COVID-19 death rate is relatively low compared to other OECD countries, the proportion of deaths occurring in long-term care (LTC) is double the OECD average. As of May 25, at the country level, LTC residents accounted for 81% of all reported COVID-19 deaths in Canada, compared with an average of 42% in 16 other OECD countries (ranging from less than 10% in Slovenia and Hungary to 66% in Spain).
This analysis examines Canada’s pandemic experience in LTC and that of other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), focusing on 3 areas: cases and deaths, baseline health system characteristics and policy responses. Please note that there are data limitations when it comes to international comparisons due to differences in COVID-19 testing and reporting practices across countries, as well as in definitions of long-term care.
- Compared with the OECD average, Canada had fewer health care workers (nurses and personal support workers) per 100 senior residents of LTC homes in 2017–2018.
- Countries with centralized regulation and organization of LTC (Australia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia) were generally associated with lower numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
- Countries that implemented specific prevention measures targeted to the LTC sector at the same time as their stay-at-home orders and closure of public places (Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, Slovenia) had fewer COVID-19 infections and deaths in LTC.
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