The Health Minister should craft a new federal arrangement for health funding based on age — but should go one step further and include the more precise and evidence-based concept of “frailty”.”
Our health system is scrambling to meet the needs of older individuals with multiple, simultaneous and often inter-related health and social issues that threaten their independence — the essence of frailty.
Frailty is a better determinant of health outcomes and healthcare utilization than age alone
Funding home care and long-term care is fast becoming the main challenge of our outdated medicare system — a system developed in the mid-twentieth century for a young population that mostly required acute care from hospitals and physicians.
We know that Canada’s population is aging. Among the many statistics that have been reported is how in 2015, the proportion of Canadian seniors surpassed that of youth under 15 for the first time. The gap will continue to widen over the next 20 years.
As the Canadian population continues to age, there is a need to revisit conventional thinking regarding the provision of health care services for seniors to ensure that the system is sustainable for all Canadians. There are a number of misperceptions in current thinking.
Approximately 20 percent of Canadians are one day going to need some form of high cost, long-term care. We need to have a publicly funded plan in place.
We have to integrate homecare within a more flexible funding system so that people can be kept at home if they choose — and receive the care they need.
What are the characteristics of health and health care policies that are likely to lead to better health for Canadians and a more effective and less costly health care system?