TORONTO (Reuters) – Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.
British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.
In some ways the Canadian debate is the mirror image of discussions going on in the United States.
Canada, fretting over budget strains, wants to prune its system, while the United States, worrying about an army of uninsured, aims to create a state-backed safety net.
Ontario says healthcare could eat up 70 percent of its budget in 12 years, if all these costs are left unchecked.
Mirror health care on the wrong track…The light at the end of the tunnel is an approaching health care locomotive. Maybe US should work on bringing down the costs of health care..