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RDN suggests federal health transfers should factor in B.C.’s aging population

Regional District of Nanaimo board approves resolution to Federation of Canadian Municipalities
(News Bulletin file photo)

The Regional District of Nanaimo will seek support from other local governments across the country for changes to federal health care allocations in light of aging population.

At a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 30, RDN directors endorsed a resolution seeking age adjustments to the Canada Health Transfer and will forward it to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which features local governments from across the country.

The money from the Canadian government is distributed to provinces and territories to support health care, but with statistics suggesting B.C. will have one of the highest populations of seniors in the country in the coming decades, change is needed, noted an RDN staff report. As people age to 85 years and older, a growing number will face limitations and long-term health challenges, the report stated.

“These disparities in both the percentage of the older senior population and the rate of growth in this population mean that equal per-capita funding from the CHT is unable to provide comparable funding for each citizen from year to year. Differences in the growth rates of the senior population … will continue to create disparities and challenges as well,” the report said.

As suggested by Canadian Medical Association and CanadaWest Foundation, a funding model is sought that takes note of each province and territory’s demographics, according to the report.

“With an age-adjusted per-capita allocation, provinces and territories with older populations would receive a larger share of the [health transfer] to address their greater health-care expenditures,” the report added.

At the meeting, directors debated whether to forward the resolution to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of B.C. Municipalities. Tyler Brown, City of Nanaimo director, was among those suggesting it go to FCM only.

“There is overlap here obviously when it comes to health care, but this is really speaking to something that is national and a federal program and I think the process is most appropriately directed to FCM,” he said.

RDN staff will submit the resolution in time for a fall FCM board meeting.

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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