Health Matters: An Economic Perspective

The Conference Board of Canada, 42 pages, February 13, 2013
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The collective health of Canadians impacts the sustainability of the health care system as well as the country’s economic performance. Measures must be taken to mitigate the potentially negative effects of an aging Canadian population.

Document Highlights

The collective health of the Canadian population is the primary driver of rising health costs, and an aging population and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases are straining the country’s health care system. Poor collective health also undermines overall economic productivity, which erodes the tax base that helps fund the health care system. This report discusses some promising avenues for addressing the sustainability of the system, which include taking measures to lessen the impact of chronic diseases on the system; outlining how economic and social policies can improve labour force participation and productivity; and improving productivity and reducing costs in the system itself. The report also shows why an informed, economic perspective is essential for assessing the various options that can address the serious sustainability challenges of Canada’s health care system.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—An Economic Perspective on the Health of Canadians

  • Purpose of the Report
  • Framework
  • Methodology

Chapter 2—Health Trends and the Implications for Health Care Demand

  • Trends in Health Care Costs
  • The Effects of Trends in Population Health on Health Care Costs
  • Population Health Determinants
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3—The Economic Burden of Illness and Its Implications for Health Care Supply

  • The Economic Impact of Health on Individuals and Households
  • Population Health and Labour
  • Population Health and Health Care Sustainability
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4—Reconciling Economics and Population Health

  • Solution Parameters
  • Population Health Strategies
  • Broader Economic and Social Policies
  • Health Care System Design, Performance, and Funding
  • Conclusion

Appendix A—Burden of Disease: Selected Trends

Appendix B—Bibliography

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