“Finance Minister Jim Flaherty abruptly announced last month that Ottawa will guarantee health-care funding increases of six per cent until the 2016-17 fiscal year. After that, the annual increase will be tied to the nominal GDP, the monetary value of all goods and services produced within the country annually, including inflation. Funding increases of at least three per cent will be guaranteed.”
There has been recent controversy regarding future federal funding for provincial health care services. It is important to monitor policy changes, as they may affect how the market views privatization in health care, and we may see different provincial interpretations of what future health care delivery will look like.
A few highlights:
-The federal government maintains that it is up to the provinces to administer health care, and thus appears unwilling to have the federal government “lead” the provinces in any innovation or reform. This leaves us with many fragmented approaches.
-At this health care summit, the idea of a future health care system that utilizes more private, for-profit health care service hasn’t been ruled out by the premiers. If the federal government wants the provinces at the helm of change, we might see different intepretations of the Canada Health Act (thus, a change in the infrastructure of health care delivery)
-There is concern that poorer provinces will end up with poorer care. As Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter said, “Equal funding is not necessarily equitable funding.”
-Many premiers have expressed concern that the aging population’s cost to health care will steadily increase over the next few years. If this new round of funding is essentially a “flat rate” that doesn’t account for this growing cost, we may see a reduction in services available.