TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - New Brunswickers carry a $78 billion
fiscal burden - 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 "Managing Healthcare for an Aging Population: New
Brunswick's $78 Billion Question," authors Colin Busby and William B.P.
Robson recommend that New Brunswick prefund selected healthcare
services and benchmark against other provinces to get better health
bang for its tax bucks, particularly in regard to its relatively high
spending on seniors' programs and hospitals.
"Publicly funded healthcare's claim on provincial resources continues to
rise in New Brunswick," said Colin Busby. "Our projections show the
share of demographically sensitive programs, including healthcare,
education and other age-based programs, rising from 16.3 percent of
provincial GDP today to 30.4 percent over the next five decades.
Meeting these demands from its own resources would require the province
to more than double the provincial tax bite from New Brunswickers'
incomes," added Busby.
The study projects New Brunswick's population and the impact of
demographic change on government revenues and programs. Among its
Prefunding: finance selected healthcare programs 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: while New Brunswick spends less than most
provinces on physicians and other health professionals, it spends much
more than most on hospitals.
"If New Brunswick were to bring hospital costs in line with the national
average, it would spend $330 million less annually," noted William
Robson. "Comparing bang-for-buck in such areas with other provinces
could help New Brunswick deliver quality care without compromising
other fiscal goals, notably fair tax rates for tomorrow's working
population," added Robson.
For the report go to: http://www.cdhowe.org/managing-healthcare-for-an-aging-population-new-brunswicks-78-billion-question/20668
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.