Ottawa contemplates shifting health funds to provinces with more seniors
Mark Brownlee, The Vancouver Sun
OTTAWA — The federal government is looking at ways to offset the disproportionate health care costs provinces with older populations will have to bear compared to their neighbours, documents obtained by the Citizen show.
An aging population is expected to be a factor contributing to rising health care costs. Some provinces, such as Quebec and those in the Maritimes, are likely to bear the brunt because there is a higher proportion of elderly people living within their borders.
“The Canadian population is aging, with some populations aging more rapidly than others,” reads a briefing note authored by officials in the federal Finance Department this year.
These and other documents were obtained under the Access to Information Act.
One proposal government officials examined would see federal money allocated based on the age of each province’s population.
The system as it currently stands provides federal funding to provinces based on their populations. It does not take into account the costs of delivering services to different age groups.
A transfer program that accounts for the ages of people living in each province would provide more money to offset costs of caring for the elderly.