Healthcare for an Aging Population: Will Demographics Push Newfoundland and Labrador into a Fiscal Deep Freeze?
11 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2013
Date Written: February 27, 2013
“No services are more important than the health and community services we deliver through our four Regional Health Authorities. This year, we will invest more than 40% of total [operating] expenditures – nearly $3 billion – in healthcare….” Newfoundland and Labrador 2012 Budget Speech (p. 15).
Newfoundlanders carry a $75 billion fiscal burden, or about $150,000 per person, to pay the higher tax bill for increased healthcare costs over the next half-century – and should prepare now for the coming demographic squeeze, says a report released today from the C.D. Howe Institute. “Publicly funded healthcare’s claim on Newfoundland’s economic resources has not shown the same upward trend evident elsewhere in Canada, but that will change,” said co-author Colin Busby. “Our projections show the share of demographically sensitive programs, including healthcare, education and other age-based programs, doubling from 12.4 percent of provincial GDP today to 24.5 percent over the next five decades. Meeting these demands from its own resources would require the St. John’s government to raise the tax bite it takes from Newfoundlanders’ incomes by 60 percent.”
Keywords: Healthcare, Social Policy, Health Policy, Aging Population, Newfoundland, Labrador
JEL Classification: I10, I18, H51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation