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Investments in seniors' care needed as Canada's aging population grows

​OTTAWA, Sept. 21, 2017 Canada's health care system is confronted with a growing and aging population with more complex and chronic health care needs

When our public health system was created about 50 years ago, Canada's population was just over 20 million and the average life expectancy was 71. Today, our population is over 30 million and the average life expectancy is 10 years longer. According to Statistics Canada, for the first time in our nation's history there are now more people aged 65 and older than there are children under 14.

Relying on acute care hospitals to care for our aging population is an ineffective use of health care dollars, and is not sustainable. The demands on our system will simply become too great, and such an approach will fail both our aging population and the remainder of Canadians who must access the health care system in a timely fashion.

The CMA believes that the federal government should invest in seniors' care, guided by a pan-Canadian seniors' strategy.  Such a strategy will contribute to the renewal of the entire health system and improve the productivity of health care delivery across the country. We must remember that caregivers are the backbone of any care system and the over five million Canadians providing care to a senior family member or friend need more support.

By acting to develop a national seniors strategy now, the federal government will help Canadians be as productive as possible in their workplaces and in their communities. Implementing the CMA recommendations as an integrated package is essential to stitching together the elements of community-based and residential care for seniors.

In addition to making a meaningful contribution to meeting the future care needs of

Canada's aging population the CMA recommendations will mitigate the impacts of economic pressures on individuals and jurisdictions across the country.

Dr. Laurent Marcoux, CMA President

Read the full 2018 Pre-budget submission​.