Vision Report on health care system calls for change in priorities
TORONTO, May 24, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadians are not getting full value for
the money spent on health care, says an in-depth report on our
healthcare system by Morneau Shepell, which is the largest
Canadian-based firm offering benefits and pension consulting,
outsourcing, and health and productivity solutions.
"The crux of the problem is that our system places too much emphasis on
acute care and not enough on prevention," says Fred Vettese, who
prepared the company's Vision Report called 'Canada's Health Care
System - Time for an Intervention'. Vettese is Chief Actuary of Morneau
"We could relieve much of the pressure on our health care resources by
reversing the decades-long trend of increasing obesity," said Vettese.
"This is where prevention comes into play. We also find that the cost
of end-of-life care in Canada is much higher than in other countries
and is a major reason for long wait times. Evolving demographics will
only make these problems worse."
According to the report:
Canada has one of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world,
but we are not getting our money's worth.
A major increase in taxes, reduction in quality of health care, or a
cannibalizing of other government-provided services is almost
inevitable without an overhaul of the current system.
The report says Canada spends much more on its elderly than every other
country except the U.S., but our elderly are no healthier than the
Europeans or Japanese. The unusually high cost of treating the elderly
is a major reason why health care services are rationed in Canada and
it is likely to get worse. By 2031, the report says nearly half of our
health care resources will serve those aged 75 and over, even though
they will represent only 1/9th of the population.
The report lists 'possible fixes' and while more of the same is the most
likely scenario, it is not a viable long-term solution. Other possible
fixes are as follows:
User-based funding. A nominal $10 fee per doctor visit would likely
reduce the number of questionable consultations.
Introducing health credits is a way to make consumers price-sensitive
without restricting access to services. This could reduce unnecessary
Evidence-based medicine could direct resources to the most effective
treatments and improve overall efficiency.
Ultimately, the report calls for a renewed focus on wellness rather than
on acute care. The report is available at: http://www.morneaushepell.com/readfile.aspx?docId=1512.
Morneau Shepell is the largest Canadian-based firm offering industry
leading benefits and pension consulting, outsourcing, as well as health
and productivity solutions. The company works with clients to develop
innovative solutions that integrate with their business strategies to
achieve results. Through Benefits and Health Solutions Consulting,
Pension Consulting, Health Management, Administration Solutions and
Shepell-fgi's Employee Assistance Program, Morneau Shepell helps
clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their
competitive positions by supporting their employees' financial
security, health and well-being.
Established in 1962, Morneau Shepell has grown to serve over 8,000
clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest
corporations and associations in North America. Headquartered in
Toronto, Ontario, it has offices in the United States and over 70
locations across Canada. Morneau Shepell Inc. is a publicly traded
company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). For more information,
SOURCE Morneau Shepell Ltd.
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