HealthcarePapers 15(4) April 2016 : 36-40.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2016.24587

Funding Long-Term Care in Canada: Who is Responsible for What?

Raisa B. Deber and Audrey Laporte


As Adams and Vanin (2016) have noted, different ways of funding long-term care (LTC) have different implications. Because health is not just healthcare, and LTC is not homogeneous, determining the appropriate public–private mix is complex. We suggest that how issues are framed helps influence policy choices, including who should pay for what, and how things should be financed. In addition, the distribution of expenditures for some services can be highly skewed, affecting the extent to which average cost data are useful in extrapolating their costs. We note that health expenditures fall into multiple categories, each presenting different policy issues. For example, framing LTC as health, as basic costs associated with living or as forced savings (like pensions) affects which funding approaches might be used, and the extent to which changes in the population distribution will affect cost structures. Underlying these discussions are questions of solidarity, and how much we believe that we are our brother's – or grandmother's – keeper.



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