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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Schubert Centre reopens with new chef, menu to serve Vernon

Farm-to-table focused chef aims to serve up more local eats to seniors, diners

Petition wants ‘aggressive dogs’ banned from Vernon-area parks

Local woman starts online petition to urge RDNO to change bylaws after reported dog attack

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

556 child care spots for Vernon area welcomed, chamber says

Province announced funding for thousands of child care positions in 35 communities Friday

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read