Understanding Health Care Cost Drivers and Escalators

The Conference Board of Canada, 122 pages, March 9, 2004
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By 2020, some provinces could be spending more than half their budgets on health care. In Understanding Health Care Cost Drivers and Escalators, the Conference Board compares Canada with 24 other OECD industrialized countries, looks at key factors affecting health, and how outcomes can be improved, without health care systems succumbing to escalating costs.

Document Highlights

The cost of health care in Canada will likely reach $121 billion in 2003. Pressure from drivers (population growth, aging, greater chronic disease and inflation) and escalators (pharmaceuticals, home care, new technologies and health human resources) will add fuel to the fire. By 2020, some provinces could be spending more than half their budgets on health care, just as the demographic bulge of Canadian seniors start to pass through the system. To turn the situation around before the 2020 crunch, they will have to make some tough decisions—ones that will cut to the heart of Medicare. In Understanding Health Care Cost Drivers and Escalators, the Conference Board compares Canada with 24 other OECD industrialized countries and examines the key factors affecting health. Finally, it looks at how Canadians and governments can engage in a collective vision and a course of action that will emphasize health care outcomes, and not simply delivery.

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