7/2/11

Auditor General -- Health care spending went up LESS than overall program spending

Well this shocked me:  the Auditor General reports that health care spending went up slightly less than overall program spending over the last eight years.  Program expenses have increased at an average annual rate of  7.2% over the last eight years -- a tick higher than health care increases.


This sits at odds with the claim by critics of medicare that public health care spending is "crowding out" other parts of  provincial government spending.

The overall program spending of the last eight years contrasts sharply with the proposed funding for the next two years:  down from 7.2% to 1.8% (including major one time expenditures).  That's quite a tumble, to a level of increase that is less than the government's inflation forecast. Programs outside of health care, education, post secondary / training, and social services will see decreased funding (reducing spending 1.8% annually for Justice and 5.6% annually for all other programs).

Also revealed in the Auditor's report: the government's plan is to increase long term care funding 4.2% annually over the next two years and 2.3% for Community Care Access Centres (which fund home care). Hospitals are supposed to get 3.3% (after averaging 6% for the last eight years).   The low proposed home care funding increase conflicts with claims that hospital services can be cut as home care services are expanding.

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