National Post Healthcare Closer to Home Suplement
By Post Media
It’s not fresh news to us, but Canada’s universal healthcare system is under mounting pressure from the twin challenges of increasing costs and a rapidly aging population. Although the rate of cost increases has slowed in recent years, healthcare now accounts for more than 40 per cent of provincial government budgets.
Our healthcare system — which was built to deliver acute care in hospitals — is now faced with a population whose needs are evolving towards managing chronic conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, where hospital treatment is among the most costly options. What is already expensive is set to become even more costly, as our population ages and requires more care. In 2011 there were about five million Canadians 65 or older, a number expected to grow to about 10.4 million by 2036 — doubling both in total numbers and as a proportion of Canada’s overall population.
“Five creative initiatives have the potential to reduce governments’ healthcare costs by $8.5 billion to $11 billion over three years…”
Recognition of this looming challenge isn’t new, either, as various Royal Commissions, inquiries and studies stretching back a decade or more have all called for fundamental change in the way healthcare is delivered in Canada.
In 2013, the broader pharmacy community embarked on an ambitious research agenda. The result was a ground-breaking policy platform titled “9000 Points of Care: Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare.”
The absolute focus of “9000 Points of Care” was to protect healthcare for future generations. As such, concrete, actionable strategies that will improve patient care and health outcomes that makes better use of taxpayers’ scarce dollars were developed.
Together, “9000 Points of Care’s” five creative initiatives have the potential to reduce governments’ healthcare costs by $8.5 billion to $11 billion over three years. These findings were independently validated by the Conference Board of Canada.
Implementing these strategies will provide immediate healthcare benefits to patients and economic benefits to governments, insurers and individual Canadians alike. The strategies include: