Canada's spending on health care to reach $148 billion this year


sanctus
#1
By Dennis Bueckert

OTTAWA (CP) - Health spending continues to outpace inflation and population growth but the rate of growth is slowing, says the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Canadians will spend $148 billion on health care this year or $4,548 per person, says an institute report Tuesday.

Despite controversy over two-tier health care, the ratio of public-to-private spending has remained stable over the past decade, at 70 per cent public and 30 per cent private.

Per capita expenditures are expected to grow by 2.8 per cent this year, after inflation and population growth are taken into account.

"There certainly seems to be continued investment, but we're also seeing the rate of growth appearing to slow down," Glenda Yeates, president and CEO of the federal-provincial statistics agency, said in an interview

The federal government has been reinvesting in health since budget cuts in the 1990s precipitated a crisis throughout the health system.

Drugs continue to grow as a proportion of health spending, taking a share that is second only to hospitals. Drug costs are also larger than physicians' pay, but the rate of growth appears to be slowing - a six per cent increase expected this year compared with 8.9 per cent last year.

The report breaks down health spending by age and finds that the biggest expenditures, by far, come at the beginning and the end of life. Per capita spending was $7,565 for infants under one year of age and $8,969 for seniors.

Canada's per-person health spending is only half that of the United States, but its spending as a proportion of Gross National Product is fifth among OECD countries.

The study doesn't trace federal dollars but the overall rise in spending suggests provinces are passing through the money they received from Ottawa under the 2004 first ministers health accord, says Yeates.

"The total public sector (spending) has basically gone up $6 billion from 2005 to 2006, so it's certainly consistent with what you would expect."

The report finds that government spending varies widely across the country.

In 2004, the most recent year for which a breakdown is available, per capita spending ranged from a low of $2,987 in Newfoundland and Labrador to a high of $3,072 in Alberta.






Copyright 2006 Canadian Press
 
MMMike
#2
Healthcare: the budget monster that ate everything else.
 
ottawabill
#3
the major problem with our system is that it makes money by having no one use it.

A U.S. hospital charges for the time and service provided.
A Canadian hospital is given a budget based on the community it serves.
If it has less people using it's services it gets to keep the extra revenue (at least until the next review of it's budget and proportional spending.

I say all this because we fund our system well, we actually have lower costs then the U.S. system but we do not provide the services required.

Since our system is annual budget based it will never matter if we have 148 billion or 200 billion the services will always be scaled back to create more funds for the hospitals.

If hospitals ran the same as Doctor's offices (pay as you come) the services would be presented to you and timing would be better...If you couldn't get your knee replaced in Halifax for a year..Moncton may snatch you up but doing it next week..and the money that would go with it.

It's called free market, and it works!!

When wal-mart entered Canada everyone was full of doom and gloom....what happened? Zeller's go better!! Sear's provided more and better services,,, Same can be true for Medicare...even within our National system!!
 
BitWhys
#4
This might be a good time to mention the US spends only 10% less per Capita on socialized medicine as we do. They just like to pretend its all about the free market. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
 
ottawabill
#5
i NEVER MEANT TO SUGGEST THAT HEALTH CARE COULD OR SHOULD BE FREE MARKET, RATHER THAT IF THE SERVICE PROVIDERS RAN THAT WAY THE SERVICE WOULD BE BETTER AND FASTER.


Yes the U.S, system pays the same kind of money into the system as well do, the difference is universal coverage in Canada...Universal yes..good...maybe
 
MMMike
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by ottawabillView Post

the major problem with our system is that it makes money by having no one use it.

A U.S. hospital charges for the time and service provided.
A Canadian hospital is given a budget based on the community it serves.
If it has less people using it's services it gets to keep the extra revenue (at least until the next review of it's budget and proportional spending.

I say all this because we fund our system well, we actually have lower costs then the U.S. system but we do not provide the services required.

Since our system is annual budget based it will never matter if we have 148 billion or 200 billion the services will always be scaled back to create more funds for the hospitals.

If hospitals ran the same as Doctor's offices (pay as you come) the services would be presented to you and timing would be better...If you couldn't get your knee replaced in Halifax for a year..Moncton may snatch you up but doing it next week..and the money that would go with it.

It's called free market, and it works!!

When wal-mart entered Canada everyone was full of doom and gloom....what happened? Zeller's go better!! Sear's provided more and better services,,, Same can be true for Medicare...even within our National system!!

I totally agree! So the system is not working well - what did we expect anyway from such a backwards system. Every procedure is treated as an expense, so naturally the idea is to ration care, or avoid as many procedures as possible. Conversly, the private sector would look at it as a chance to make money, so there would be a strong push to provide more services.
 
BitWhys
#7
Why would we emulate a system that's less efficient than our own?

The US drops the same percent of GDP on public health care funding as we do.

The thing about that is it only covers some 46% of the health care spending. Up here it delivers 70%. That's an efficiency of 50%. I don't see how standing the system on its head and shaking it down for loose change is going to clear up the waiting times problem.
 
MMMike
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhysView Post

Why would we emulate a system that's less efficient than our own?

The US drops the same percent of GDP on public health care funding as we do.

The thing about that is it only covers some 46% of the health care spending. Up here it delivers 70%. That's an efficiency of 50%. I don't see how standing the system on its head and shaking it down for loose change is going to clear up the waiting times problem.

'

Why is it that whenever you talk about increase private involvement the defenders always trot out the U.S. bogeyman. Can you see no farther? There are a lot of models out there to choose from that have a combined public - private system.
 
BitWhys
#9
I wasn't the one bring the US into it.
 
Nuggler
#10
I don't mind bringing the US into it.

Their health care sucks.

Read about it. Seriously, find some on line documents describing the US health care system, and read about it. Scary.

or:

Wait for the Con majority and live it.

The one in front is you with US health care. Smiling through your tears.

Woof.
 
ottawabill
#11
I love how any talk of our system not working must mean that we are going to have the U.S. system, and that Conservatives are just waiting for the day....

We have a good system, no one dies because of lack of care, however it is not substainable based on an aging population, no mater how health we stay we will still end up close to death in a hospital at some point...pay now..or pay later.

If all we do is say I don't want the U.S. system and ignore all other talk of health care we will run out of money and will be forced to buy private insurance no mater what we think....

Check out Ireland..they have a mixed Private/Public system..not 2 tier....

I think the worst thing we did was to make our system completely free..Even Tommy Douglas..it's inventor wanted it to alway have some charge. When it's totally free people forget that visits and procedures are costly. There is a sub concious feeling of it being totally free...and talk of any charge appears to suggest it is no longer free...

Well it never was free!!! It cost a fortune....we need to spend it..we need to take care of people but we can't bleed till theres no money left either
 
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