Health care expenditures per person by age in Canada

B.C. seeks relief for aging population costs

Premier Christy Clark wants new deal for aging population, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to renegotiate federal formula

When people retire to B.C. from Alberta and other provinces, they bring the majority of their health care needs with them, but some of the federal health care money stays behind.

That’s the message B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is taking to the first meeting between provincial ministers and the new Liberal government in Vancouver next week.

Lake said B.C.’s objection to the health care funding formula adopted by the former Conservative government in 2011 was that it was based on population, with no age component.

“As you age your health care costs become higher and higher,” Lake said. “So to have a pure per-capita transfer actually was a disadvantage for populations that were older, such as British Columbia, and much more of an advantage to populations like Alberta that are younger.”

Lake and Premier Christy Clark noted that B.C. is on track to double the number of hospice beds for terminally ill patients, to help keep up with the aging baby boom population and those who are moving west to retire.

“We talk about palliative care, we talk about care for people with dementia, we talk about hospice care,” Clark said. “That’s expensive, and that’s why the old funding formula needs to be restored.”

The previous formula was introduced by former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin, who in 2004 agreed to six per cent annual increases to provincial health transfers in what he called “a fix for a generation.”

After the Conservative majority government was elected in 2011, then-finance minister Jim Flaherty tied health care increases to economic growth, with a minimum increase of three per cent per year, to begin in 2017.

In a campaign stop in B.C. last fall, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to add another $3 billion to the health care budget to start, and “sit down with the provinces immediately” to renegotiate the formula.

That meeting is set for Jan. 20 and 21 in Vancouver, chaired by federal Health Minister Jane Philpott.

Studies by the Canadian Institute for Health Information confirm the steep increase in health care costs for people as they enter their senior years, much of it for end-of-life care.

 

Just Posted

Photos: Railway Days at Revelstoke Railway Museum 2019

Today was Railway Days at the Revelstoke Railway Museum. There was food,… Continue reading

City of Revelstoke launches Tech Strategy 2.0

Revelstoke received $100,000 in funding to build on its Technology Strategy project

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read