Seniors Health Care Strategy and Projections for Canada. The top challenges within the Canadian health care system is that patients face excessive waiting for care. This is aggravated by other challenges related to patient information transfer mechanisms, medication errors and disconnected continuums of care. Senior care is particularly a concern as the aging population is likely to be a significant inflation in the cost of health care service delivery across provinces. A possible solution will be to ensure that the focus of health care s in three key performance drivers- better integration, greater clarity within the continuum of care and better benchmarks for chronic and complex care delivery.
As the population ages, it is likely that the increasing health care spending per person especially for seniors (currently growing at 0.9%/year) is likely to accelerate.
- Age 65 to 69: $6,298
- Age 70 to 74: $8,384
- Age 75 to 79: $11,557
- Age 80 and older: $20,917
Canada’s >65 population is relatively young (15%) compared to 21% in Germany and 19% in France. This will change by 2025 when over 2.6 million Canadians 65 years and older will need complex continuing care. That would be an increase of over 70% since 2011. It is critical for Canada to develop a long term national strategy to address the looming increase in health care costs related to chronic and complex care delivery. Some of the recommended steps include:
- Development of a national seniors strategy that would include several elements
- Explore alternative models of care delivery with a more seamless patient transition through the continuum of care
- Focus on a more holistic care strategy that covers seniors’ physical, cognitive and psychosocial needs;
- Greater emphasis on primary care delivery by physicians in an evidence-based environment
- Invest in tele-health strategies especially ongoing tele-monitoring technologies
- greater clarity on skills associated with the continuum of care from family caregivers, nurses and physicians.