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Current Issues - Health Care & Recent Migration

posted on 2:25 PM, January 9, 2012

Friends and colleagues,

A couple of interesting items cropped up over the holidays which we were compelled to comment on. The first was the resurgence of discussions around the long-term funding of health care in Canada. The discussions through December began with the extension of the six percent annual increases in provincial health care transfers and ended (rather abruptly) with the Federal Minister of Finance’s announcement that that while the six percent increases would be extended, after 2017 the formula for annual health care transfers would be simplified, linking transfer payments to annual increases in each province’s  nominal Gross Domestic Product. In light of these discussions we thought it would be helpful to resuscitate some of the research we have undertaken on the long-term sustainability of health care spending and have provided some new comments here.

The second item was the release of the provincial quarterly migration data. We wrote in the spring about a surprising decline in the level of international migration to BC at the time. In the most recent quarterly data (July to September, 2011) BC posted another surprising decline: net interprovincial migration was negative, with more BC residents moving to other regions of Canada than from them to BC. While we have seen this situation before, this quarterly loss (albeit a relatively few 723 people) follows losses in both Q1 and Q2 of 2011, representing the first time since 2003 that the province has seen three consecutive quarters of net interprovincial out-migration. We have posted the most recent numbers and some comments about what it could mean for BC here.

Enjoy!

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