Growth in Canada's health spending hits 13-year low

Despite an aging population, Canadian health care costs are not growing as fast as they used to, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Ottawa (29 Oct. 2010) - Total spending on health care in Canada will hit $191.6 billion, or $5,614 per person in 2010, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) says in a report released yesterday.

That's a $9.5 billion increase over 2009's total.

But while costs have increased most years since 1975, they're expected to grow more slowly this year than they have the past 13 years.

The growth has slowed despite an aging population which is expected to increase costs as more people need more care.

Canadians 65 and older, for example, make up less than 14% of the population and account for 44% of health care spending by provincial and territorial governments.

But even with more older Canadians, seniors' share of health costs has been constant for about the past decade.

Chris Kuchciak, manager of health expenditures at CIHI, says it shows health care spending can be controlled.

"It can be influenced by the decisions that we make and so how much we spend on health care is in large part a decision or a choice that policymakers, the public (make). That's a conscious decision that we can make in terms of what's appropriate," he said.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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