Soaring costs force Canada to reassess health model

TORONTO (Reuters) – Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.

British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.

Is this what we have to look forward to? The model the current administration is touting as the solution to our “health care crisis”?

And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery.

It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation. Official figures show that senior citizens will make up 25 percent of the population by 2036.

“There’s got to be some change to the status quo whether it happens in three years or 10 years,” said Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

So glad my hip surgery was under workman’s compensation.

“We can’t continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services.

“At some stage we’re going to hit a breaking point.”

Ya think??

“Why are we paying more or the same for cataract surgery when it costs substantially less today than it did 10 years ago? There’s going to be a finer look at what we’re paying for and, more importantly, what we’re getting for it,” he said.

Other problems include trying to control independently set salaries for top hospital executives and doctors and rein in spiraling costs for new medical technologies and drugs.

Ontario says healthcare could eat up 70 percent of its budget in 12 years, if all these costs are left unchecked.

Seventy percent of it’s budget. Now we all know that the United States has a much larger population than Canada. Just imagine…can you imagine seventy percent of the Federal budget going to health care?

The losers could be drug companies and pharmacies, both of which are getting increasingly nervous.

“Many of the advances in healthcare and life expectancy are due to the pharmaceutical industry so we should never demonize them,” said U of T’s Golden. “We need to ensure that they maintain a profitable business but our ability to make it very very profitable is constrained right now.”

That’s right, hurt the companies that give everyone their longevity.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100531/hl_nm/us_health_3

thatmrgguy

13 responses to “Soaring costs force Canada to reassess health model

  1. If the choice is between a pill and surgury,…

  2. I really like this blog and article. Please continue the great work. Regards!!!

  3. Lipton T. Bagg

    Hari:

    We are glad to have you. Please come back often – even if you happen to disagree!

    -LTB

  4. What the who…Gents?

    I’ve posted twice and yer server won’t answer…?
    Did JD, ferget to pay his ISP…?

  5. tmg…

    Only thing I can surmise…yah didn’t like my accurate, measured and timely retort…?

    Post my damn earlier post…!

  6. Dunno Gramps. I’m as bumfuzzled as you are. It’s something completely out of my control. I don’t know what I don’t know.

    Cyberspace can be a finicky mistress, eh?

    • Dammit tmg…yer startin’ to sound like that olde stinky, shriveled arse, Rummy…

      We don’t know, the unknowns, that… WE DON’T KNOW…!

  7. Oh…and I allus like yer timely, measured retorts. As fer accurate….wellll now, that remains to be seen.😉

    • Send me yer damn email…
      I’ll send you my counter…
      Then you make the decision iffen’ it’s dang, post worthy…!

      LTB…knows how to reach my sorry arse…
      Hell..try this…!

      geezer@mwt.net…!

  8. Gramps, I don’t make those kind of decisions. I’m just a poster like yerself.

    And I sent you an e-mail with my addy.

  9. Dang, tmg…

    I was under the impression, JD… left yer ownself and LTB, in charge whilst he was on duty…?

    Mon apologies…

    Hey I really liked the published, inaccuracies in yer post, concerning Canadian medical practice…very enlightening…

    So what’s yer email address…so I can register my bitch report…!

  10. Thanks, tmg…

    Yer nothin’ but the very finest…!

  11. tmg, wrote…

    ”…The losers could be drug companies and pharmacies, both of which are getting increasingly nervous…

    “Many of the advances in healthcare and life expectancy are due to the pharmaceutical industry so we should never demonize them,” said U of T’s Golden. “We need to ensure that they maintain a profitable business but our ability to make it very very profitable is constrained right now.”
    That’s right, hurt the companies that give everyone their longevity.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100531/hl_nm/us_health_3

    Say yer an asthmatic and use GlaxoSmithKline’s, ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50—(fluticasone propionate 250 mcg and salmeterol *50 mcg inhalation powder) your market price in the US is ~$280 USD …if yah purchase it from a Canadian pharmacy, it’ll cost yah about $75 USD.

    Question is …why does GSK sell it to Canadian pharmacies, fer much less than $75 USD and yet; GSK, removes our pants and cuts our undies off…, as US citizens just because Congress won’t let us legally purchase the product in Canada fer serious, medical use, in the US…

    My thought would be, it’s high time… we all write our dear Senators and Congresspersons and request legislation, that will allow legal importation of prescription, medical drugs from Canada…

    Lettem’ get damn nervous…tmg…!

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