Health care expenditures per person by age in Canada

B.C. seeks relief for aging population costs

Premier Christy Clark wants new deal for aging population, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to renegotiate federal formula

When people retire to B.C. from Alberta and other provinces, they bring the majority of their health care needs with them, but some of the federal health care money stays behind.

That’s the message B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is taking to the first meeting between provincial ministers and the new Liberal government in Vancouver next week.

Lake said B.C.’s objection to the health care funding formula adopted by the former Conservative government in 2011 was that it was based on population, with no age component.

“As you age your health care costs become higher and higher,” Lake said. “So to have a pure per-capita transfer actually was a disadvantage for populations that were older, such as British Columbia, and much more of an advantage to populations like Alberta that are younger.”

Lake and Premier Christy Clark noted that B.C. is on track to double the number of hospice beds for terminally ill patients, to help keep up with the aging baby boom population and those who are moving west to retire.

“We talk about palliative care, we talk about care for people with dementia, we talk about hospice care,” Clark said. “That’s expensive, and that’s why the old funding formula needs to be restored.”

The previous formula was introduced by former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin, who in 2004 agreed to six per cent annual increases to provincial health transfers in what he called “a fix for a generation.”

After the Conservative majority government was elected in 2011, then-finance minister Jim Flaherty tied health care increases to economic growth, with a minimum increase of three per cent per year, to begin in 2017.

In a campaign stop in B.C. last fall, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to add another $3 billion to the health care budget to start, and “sit down with the provinces immediately” to renegotiate the formula.

That meeting is set for Jan. 20 and 21 in Vancouver, chaired by federal Health Minister Jane Philpott.

Studies by the Canadian Institute for Health Information confirm the steep increase in health care costs for people as they enter their senior years, much of it for end-of-life care.

 

Just Posted

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Festival of Trees returns to West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery

The fundraiser for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation will run Nov. 23 to Jan. 4

Proportional representation vote continues to draw low numbers

Only 6.5 per cent of eligible voters have cast ballots so far in B.C. referendum

Kelowna Skating Club skaters take home 10 medals and three provincial titles

Ava Sanderson was among the winners of the 2019 B.C and Yukon Sectional Championships

Kelowna to host World Junior pre-tournament game

Team Russia will take on Team Sweden at Prospera Place on Dec. 18

Your weekday weather update

Flurries and more rain anticipated for the Okanagan - Shuswap

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Okanagan pickleball pair win bronze at nationals

Vernon and Kelowna players reach podium in California

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Couple allegedly caught staking out Okanagan home

The man and woman were seen in a black Suzuki Tracker with a white back

Most Read