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Newsletter Article


Health Care Spending Rising at Slower Rate

The Canadian Institute for Health Information reported in October that $192 billion was spent on national health care in 2010—up from $182 billion in 2009 and $172 billion in 2008. Controlling for inflation and population growth, the report also estimated a spending increase of 1.4 percent per person in 2010, which is the lowest annual growth rate in the last 13 years.

The report, which shows data by province, demonstrated that spending was highest for senior care, but that this percentage had not changed dramatically in the past 10 years, going from 43.6 percent in 1998 to 43.8 percent in 2008. Another important issue raised was that hospitals, pharmaceutical drugs, and physician services accounted for the top areas of spending, with physician spending outpacing the others for the fourth year in a row (an estimated growth of 6.9% this year).

In a response to the physician expenditure estimates, provincial Health Minister Deb Matthews stated that she plans to strengthen Ontario’s salary-based payment methods rather than the more widely used fee-for-service model. This redirection could help place value on quality not quantity of service, as well as slow the spending growth.


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