Health care costs currently absorb about 11 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product and almost half of provincial budgets. We will not be able to preserve, let alone improve, the quality of our health care without major reforms. To meet this challenge—the fiscally unsustainable public health care system in Canada—the Conference Board's Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC) program researched and analyzed the issues and options for solution.
This report defines sustainability and presents a sustainability framework to guide CASHC's policy work and future recommendations on health care. The definition and framework follow an extensive literature review and comprehensive interviews with representatives of health care stakeholders.
The sustainability framework has four guiding principles and six key factors deemed essential to support sustainable health and health care. While these may not be new to the reader, the innovation in the report comes from their systematic implementation across the continuum of care, across diseases, and across departments controlling determinants of health in order to create a well-functioning system.