/R E P E A T -- Media Advisory - How will economy adapt to Canada's aging population? CMA will be looking for answers in this year's federal budget/

OTTAWA, April 17, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - CMA President Dr. Chris Simpson will be available on Parliament Hill for interviews and scrums immediately after the April 21 budget lockup.

What the CMA will be watching for
According to Finance Canada, unless productivity growth and labour market participation improve, population aging is expected to lead to significantly slower increases in real output, income, and increase labour shortages. Over the next 20 years, the number of working-age Canadians for every senior is expected to go from about five today to 2.7. How will this budget and future budgets prepare for the coming demographic shift?

How is this budget preparing the country for when the elderly account for almost a quarter of the population in 20 years?
While seniors account for less than 15% of the population, they consume approximately 45% of public health spending. Broken down by age group, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that health spending per person is $6,368 for those aged 65 to 69 and $21,054 for those 80 and older. Based on current trends and approaches, the proportion of provincial/territorial health spending associated with seniors' care is forecast to grow to almost 62% of health budgets by 2036.

In 2012, it was reported that 461,000 Canadians were not getting the home care they thought they required. Waiting for access to a long-term care facility in Canada ranged anywhere from 27 to 230 days. As little as 16% of Canadians requiring palliative care actually received it.

What assistance is this budget providing for Canada's army of volunteer caregivers? And is it enough?
Some 35% of employed Canadians are also providing informal care to a family member or friend, according to Statistics Canada. That means $1.3 billion in workforce productivity is lost because of caregiving commitments. The number of seniors requiring care is projected to double by 2031.

 

SOURCE Canadian Medical Association

For further information: or to set up an interview, please contact: Dominique Jolicoeur - Canadian Medical Association, Dominique.jolicoeur@cma.ca, 613-809-5669

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