The problem with discussing health care sustainability is there is no definition of what that means. Data would suggest that our health care spending is not out of control – the so-called cost curve has already been bent. Past increases appear to have occurred in sync with economic growth, the exception being the economic crash of 2008. Clearly those who are worried about sustainability are not equating it with affordability.
Across Canada the average increase in provincial health care spending this year is 2 per cent – hardly a matter of excess especially when one considers aging and population growth.
While Canada has done better than just about every other country in the OECD in controlling health costs, it has often come at a difference kind of price given quality issues that persist.
This week the Conference Board of Canada is hosting a two-day conference in Toronto on health care sustainability. Next week the discussions will be sure to spill over into the Ontario Hospital Association’s annual get-together at HealthAchieve. We’ll be at both.
Earlier this year health policy analyst Steven Lewis and former Cancer Care Ontario CEO Dr. Terrence Sullivan issued a paper on how to keep the cost curve bent.