Canada: Spending a Lot on Rationed Health Care

The myth of nationalized health care is that it provides everyone with equal and inexpensive care. Alas, in the real world the only way medicine can be kept inexpensive is by denying people treatment. But it turns out that political rationing doesn’t even keep health care cheap.

Consider the case of Canada. Reports the Fraser Institute:

Provincial health care spending continues to grow at an unsustainable rate and will consume more than half of all revenues in six of 10 Canadian provinces by 2035 unless changes are made, says a new study released today by independent research organization The Fraser Institute.

Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador are the most urgent cases, where health care spending could consume half of all revenues as early as 2017 and could hit 60 per cent of all revenues by 2022 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 2026 in Nova Scotia.

New Brunswick is on track for spending 50 per cent of its revenues on health care within 17 years, Prince Edward Island within 24 years, British Columbia will hit 50 per cent in 27 years with Saskatchewan following in 28 years.

Of the remaining provinces where health care spending is increasing faster than revenues, Ontario and Manitoba are projected to reach 50 per cent in 43 and 47 years respectively while Quebec won’t reach it for another 49 years. Alberta is the only province where total revenues have grown faster than health care spending during the trend period.

“If health care spending continues at current rates without changes to our health care system, provinces are going to hit a wall where they have to choose between reducing other services such as education, or imposing further restrictions and rationing of health care,” said Brett Skinner, the Institute’s Director of Health, Pharmaceutical and Insurance Policy Research and lead author of the study.

Paying more for less. Now there’s a great government program!