To the editor;
The premiers meet in Victoria this week to discuss health care sustainability. In order to have a truly sustainable system, we’ve got to go after the cost drivers in the system – namely, those services not covered by Medicare.
Canada’s public spending on health care (hospitals and doctors’ services) has remained very stable at between four per cent and five per cent of our GDP for the past 35 years.
However, total health care spending – which includes people’s out-of-pocket spending on services not covered by Medicare – is rising at a higher rate and is currently at 12 per cent of GDP.
These are the costs that we need to address – those associated with prescription drugs, dental, diagnostic tests and other non-insured services.
The health accord is an opportunity for the provinces to do just that by pushing for the establishment of national public programs such as a national pharmacare program and national home and community care legislation to improve health care for Canadians while ensuring that the system remains sustainable.
BC Health Coalition co-chair