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Saturday, March 23, 2019
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Health Care Spending, Fiscal Sustainability, and Public Investment

In his study “Health Care Spending, Fiscal Sustainability, and Public Investment,” Joe Ruggeri, Director of the Policy Studies Centre at the University of New Brunswick, analyzes three major issues on the debate on health care policy in Canada:
(a) the concept and measurement of sustainability, (b) health care and fiscal federalism, and (c) health care spending as investment.

Noting that, with respect to health care, the term “sustainability” is not meaningfully defined and uniquely measured, the paper develops and discusses a number of indicators of sustainability. According to Dr. Ruggeri, the current fiscal structure in Canada is more than capable of handling the projected growth of public spending on health care. The paper compares the fiscal situation of federal and provincial governments and concludes that, on the fiscal side, the real issue is the persistence of vertical fiscal imbalances. Finally, the paper explains why a large portion of public spending on health care should be treated as an investment and argues for increased involvement of health care professionals in the development of health care policy in Canada.


Joe Ruggeri

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