Health-care spending continues to increase

Over the next 15 years, spending on health care is projected to grow even more, according to a new study released by the Fraser Institute. Four provinces will likely eclipse the 45 per cent mark—British Columbia at 47.2 per cent, Prince Edward Island at 47.1 per cent, Ontario, at 45.4 per cent and Nova Scotia at 45.3 per cent.

“Following more than a decade of marked health-care spending increases, Canadians may wonder why historically long wait times and a lack of access to doctors and life-saving equipment remain staples of Canadian health care,” said Bacchus Barua, senior economist for health-care studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of The Sustainability of Health Care Spending in Canada, 2017.

By 2031, the study estimates health-care spending will be 42.6 per cent of all provincial program spending (on average), up from 40.1 per cent in 2016 and 37.6 per cent in 2001.

From 2001 to 2016, the federal government has increased health-care spending by 116 per cent. Provincial health-care spending (in total) represented only about 6.0 per cent of Canada’s GDP in 2001 bus is projected to grow to 9.3 per cent by 2031.

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