The New Brunswick Health Council has released its report on sustainability of the public health system. One of their findings relate to an aging population having a negative impact on the public health care system.
On June 17, 2010, Dr. Robert G. Evans, one of the world’s leading health economists, dismissed the myth that the needs of an aging population will make health care unsustainable. “Population aging is a very small factor in increasing health care costs – at 0.8% per year less than other factors such as population growth (1%). Panic-mongering about a – grey tsunami – is simply a distraction.”
Medicare spending has remained around 4% to 5% of the Gross Domestic Product while privately-runned drugs, for-profit diagnostics tests and dental services are pushing the health envelope, not the public system. The costs of private drug plans are rising at 15% a year. There is a real need to have a publicly-runned drug program in Canada and in New Brunswick.
The Federal and New Brunswick governments continue to cut its revenues by reducing income taxes by millions of dollars; of course the healthcare portion of the budget will go up.
Aging is not a disease, it’s a reality. When we get old, we continue to pay taxes. Aging should not be regarded as creating a burden to society. An aging population should not used as an excuse to cut public programs like Medicare.