Canada: Damn, This Health Care Stuff Is Expensive

Looks like we better start rationing containing costs

TORONTO (Reuters) – Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

…It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation. Official figures show that senior citizens will make up 25 percent of the population by 2036.

“There’s got to be some change to the status quo whether it happens in three years or 10 years,” said Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

“We can’t continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services.

“At some stage we’re going to hit a breaking point.”

Gee, ya think?

And it seems to me this sort of “creative thinking” ain’t gonna help much:

Scotia Capital’s Webb said one cost-saving idea may be to make patients aware of how much it costs each time they visit a healthcare professional. “(The public) will use the services more wisely if they know how much it’s costing,” she said.

Are you kidding me? People will go out of their way to find the most expensive treatment.


7 Responses to “Canada: Damn, This Health Care Stuff Is Expensive”

  1. Syd says:

    I presently live in Toronto and with three kids, I’ve had plenty of opportunities over the years to enjoy the virtues of an emergency room. At one point, wait times were tolerable and the service excellent. Over the past several years, however, significant cuts in funding have changed the level of service. Wait times now are measured with a calendar and service is more like a drive through as the medical staff struggle to get you in and out in record time. If you don’t have a family doctor, good luck in getting one. Virtually all MD’s are limited by government as to the amount of money they can make, so when their patient load achieves that limit, they stop taking on new patients. Why would they work for free? I don’t blame them. As I am reaching the twilight of my life, I am thankful that my health is excellent, but I don’t look forward to the day when that might change. To my American friends, be mindful of what you’re in for.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    Hi Syd, yep, as the article notes when the Boomers hit the system it’s really going to be stretched.

  3. Syd says:

    In the interim, I intend to continue on with my personal health plan, which includes sharing a fine bottle of red wine with my beautiful wife each and every day. Tonight’s medicine of choice: 2005 Château de Chamirey Mercurey

  4. Rob says:

    From the piece:

    “We can’t continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy”

    That seems to be the problem on both sides of the border, doesn’t it?

  5. Mr. Bingley says:

    An excellent plan of action, Syd, and one I try to follow myself nearly every day.

    I am shamefully behind in my booze blogging; I need to get some posts up.

    Let us know how you liked that bottle!

  6. Gary from Jersey says:

    The local rag reports a “survey” that says most Americans are willing to give Obamacare a chance. Sigh.

  7. Syd says:

    I enjoyed this Mercurey wine very much. Nice ruby color, aroma subtle, cherry, very very subdued aroma. At one time Mercurey wines were amongst the best Burgundys, however, many years ago, the vines were destroyed by decease and they have never come back to its previous status. As such, there are some bargains to be had if you can find it. Another great choice and reasonably priced is the Clos Paradis Mercurey 1er Cru – 2005. A wonderful medium bodies Pinot Noir.

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