Hockey fans were pleased to hear recently that “Mr. Hockey” was back on his feet, some weeks after serious strokes threatened his life last fall. Stem cell treatment has greatly assisted his recovery.
Meanwhile, reports released in late-December by the C.D. Howe Institute in all provinces described (in some grim detail) the problem we all face in funding our future healthcare costs.
The fundamental problem appears to be the rising costs resulting from our aging population; since we are an older society, the costs of our healthcare are continually rising. And with our society aging, our tax base seems to be rising at a slower rate than healthcare spending.
Statistics and estimates indicate significant funding gaps in most provinces. What can provinces do? They are considering various options.
The B.C. Ministry of Health is examining services that professionals other than doctors, such as pharmacists, can provide, and is looking at expanding its use of electronic health records. Patients will also need to take more responsibility for their own healthcare as time goes on. It’s a significant idea, but it will become a requirement for practical reasons.
No one step will resolve our healthcare spending problem. Indeed, people should save for their retirement years, and governments will have to find efficiencies in their healthcare spending. The pressure is rising with each passing month.
This ad ran in the Richmond Review on January 16, 2015.