OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada isn't up to caring for an aging
population and won't be until governments co-operate on a national
seniors health care strategy, the president of the Canadian Medical
Association (CMA) said today.
``I regret to say preparing for Canada's aging society has become a race
against the clock,'' Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti said in a pre-budget
submission to the Commons finance committee.
The first wave of the baby boomer generation turned 67 this year. By
2031, seniors will account for a quarter of Canada's population, nearly
double the 14% of 2009 —when seniors were already accounting for 45% of
provincial and territorial health expenditures.
``It is not hard to do the math on what this trend will do to the
sustainability of our health care system in less than two decades,''
Dr. Francescutti added. ``And it is not hard to understand why the CMA
is strongly urging the federal government to invest in a pan-Canadian
strategy for continuing care focused on seniors.''
The CMA believes Ottawa is best positioned to take the lead in bringing
together all levels of government to develop and execute a pan-Canadian
strategy to integrate everything from home and long-term care to
end-of-life and palliative care, Dr. Francescutti said.
"This is about spending smarter as much it is about investment.''
For example, elderly Canadians who are not acute care patients occupy
hospital beds for 3 million bed-days a year when they should be in
long-term or assisted home care. A hospital bed costs the system $846 a
day versus $126 a day for a long-term bed. Making more long-term beds
and home care assistance available to seniors could save up to $2.3
billion a year.
But up-front investment is needed to ensure there are available options
to hospital bends and prepare for a ``tsunami of coming demand for
seniors care in the future,'' Dr. Francescutti said.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian
physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional
organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and
comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51
national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the
physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with
the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association
For further information:
Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach
Tel: 613-731-8610 ext. 1266 Cell: 613-447-0866