Investing in long-term care will alleviate pressures on the hospital system

By Allan Maslove and Lisa Halpern

As it has in other countries, COVID has exposed weaknesses in Canadian health care, especially relating to staffing and capacity issues. The experience of the last two years has prompted calls for more money to be spent on health care in general and on more hospital beds in particular. There may well be a case for both more money and hospital beds given the continued aging of the population in coming years, but more money alone will not solve the deficiencies in the health care system. We also need to address where and how resources should be allocated.

Canada is already one of the highest per capita spenders in the developed world. Based on OECD Health Statistics 2021, Canada’s health spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) was 10.8 per cent, roughly equivalent to health spending in France (11.1 per cent of GDP), Sweden (10.9 per cent of GDP), Australia (9.4 per cent of GDP), and the United Kingdom (10.2 per cent of GDP).

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