Canadians are living longer than ever. Seniors outnumber children for the first time in Canada’s history and, by 2056, a third of the population will be 65 or older. That demographic shift is already having a significant impact on health care. Seniors account for nearly half of all health care spending. In many communities, older adults can spend up to three years waiting for long-term care, occupying hospital beds that are needed for patients requiring surgery or emergency treatment.
As the population continues to age, wait times — and costs to the system — will climb even higher. Critical investments must be made now to deliver more effective, accessible care for seniors.
The CMA is advocating for a national plan to address all aspects of seniors care, including long-term, palliative and home care. We're also urging the federal government to top up the Canada Health Transfer, providing additional financial support to provinces with higher numbers of seniors. While our advocacy has led to significant achievements, including the creation of the federal cabinet position of minister of seniors in July 2018, there’s still more to be done. We encourage all physicians to join the conversation.