TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Newfoundlanders carry a $75 billion
fiscal burden, or about $150,000 per person, to pay the higher tax bill
for increased healthcare costs over the next half-century - and should
prepare now for the coming demographic squeeze, says a report released
today from the C.D. Howe Institute. In "Healthcare for an Aging
Population: Will Demographics Push Newfoundland and Labrador into a
Fiscal Deep Freeze?" authors Colin Busby and William B.P. Robson
recommend that the province prefund selected healthcare services and
benchmark against other provinces that get better bang for their bucks
in some areas.
"Publicly funded healthcare's claim on Newfoundland's economic resources
has not shown the same upward trend evident elsewhere in Canada, but
that will change," said Colin Busby. "Our projections show the share of
demographically sensitive programs, including healthcare, education and
other age-based programs, doubling from 12.4 percent of provincial GDP
today to 24.5 percent over the next five decades. Meeting these demands
from its own resources would require the St. John's government to raise
the tax bite it takes from Newfoundlanders' incomes by 60 percent,"
The study projects the province's population and the impact of
demographic change on government revenues and programs. Among its
Prefunding: finance some healthcare services similarly to the Canada
Pension Plan, which converted from pay-as-you-go to a model in which a
portion of premiums collected from participants today prefunds their
own benefits in the future.
Benchmarking best practices: Newfoundland and Labrador spends less than
most provinces on "other professionals," which includes dental, vision,
chiropractic and other therapist costs. But it spends more on hospitals
and "other institutions," which includes nursing homes and residential
"If Newfoundland and Labrador brought its hospital costs in line with
the national average, it would spend some $410 million less annually,"
noted William Robson. "Comparing bang-for-buck in such areas could improve quality of care while ensuring that demographic
change does not put healthcare on a collision course with Newfoundland
and Labrador's other fiscal priorities," he added.
For the report go to: http://www.cdhowe.org/managing-healthcare-for-an-aging-population-will-demographics-push-newfoundland-and-labrador-into-a-fiscal-deep-freeze/20781
SOURCE: C.D. Howe Institute
For further information:
Colin Busby, Senior Policy Analyst, or William Robson, President and CEO, C.D. Howe Institute; 1-416-865-1904; email: email@example.com.