As you have just read and thanks to the mentioned statistics, it is estimated that next year, the Alberta government will spend around $ 22 billion in medical care, a very considerable figure since it represents almost 40 percent of the total budget of the provincial government.
After the results obtained by the previously detailed statistics, the government of the province announced that: "health spending will grow only three percent during the next year 2019".
In this regard, the current provincial government NDP is clearly aware of the need to reduce the costs associated with health care, especially if they want to accomplish the province books balance between 2023 and 2024 as they expect.
Thanks to the figures provided above, it has been possible to establish the categories versus the expenses that affect the budget for each year and their distribution is as follows.
The remuneration of doctors reaches a total of $ 5.1 billion dollars.
Patient-based services for the facility cost around $ 5.5 billion per year.
Medical facilities in Alberta, such as the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, cost the health system more than $ 5 billion each year.
Then there are the $ 2.2 billion that we spend every year on drugs.
And then all the cost of medical exams, diagnostic and therapeutic services for patients last year was $ 2.4 billion.
Once the costs have been clear, and the objectives, we must ask ourselves then what are the budget reductions in which we are working. It must be understood that, with the previous numbers, trying to double the curve of the rising costs of medical care turns out to be a great challenge.
In order to develop a plan first, two fundamental factors must be taken into account, such as:
1-The aging of the population.
2-Diagnostic procedures increasingly complex and expensive.
Regarding the aging of the population, two edges must be distinguished: on the one hand, a lower active labor population capable of continuing to finance the health system and, on the other hand, a high percentage of older adults who are dependent on medical care and treatment of multiple pathologist.
On the other hand every year, Canadians undergo more than one million tests or medical treatments that do not help, and can even be harmful, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI).
Many x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and other tests may be definitely unnecessary. And unfortunately all these tests increase the spending cost on the health system.
This is one of the problems that the government tries to solve. (Not only because it will save money, although it is a great benefit, but also because they can cause irreversible damage to the health of patients.
In this regard, NDP assured that: "We have improved medical care, we have reduced costs and we have also freed up space within those machines for the people who really need it."
At the current date and since its arrival in power in 2015, the NDP embarked on a series of reforms, which include increasing home care, long-term care to reduce hospital stays and reducing costs of the medicines.
The Canadian generic drugs industry recently agreed to reduce prices by 25-40 percent for provincial and public drug plans.
Alberta Health estimates that the reduced prices of generic drugs have saved taxpayers at least $ 100 million over the past three years.
In addition to lowering the costs of prescription drugs, the province recently negotiated a new agreement with the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association in order to save the government about $ 150 million over the next two years.
The NDP has also slowed the increase in the salaries of doctors and nurses.
The province estimates that changes in the compensation model for doctors, agreed by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and the province two years ago, will save taxpayers a total of $ 500 million.
Previously, doctors' compensation increased seven to nine percent each year before that treatment. The 2016 agreement limited the new increases in a range of two to five percent.
In this regard the Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman stated that, unlike the previous conservative government, the NDP has tried to work with unions and doctors to contain health costs.
Therefore, a different strategy was adopted, since all sectors were involved in a sustainable way.
So far, fortunately changes like these have helped slow the growth of health spending by 3.5 to 4 percent.
The Alberta Treasury Board expects the budget to grow by three percent next year and then fall to 2.5 percent between the years 2020-2021.
It should be mentioned that comparatively speaking between the years 2009 and 2015, when the progressive conservatives were in power, an average of 6 percent was recorded in the costs of medical care, but it should be considered that it was when Alberta was in a reality different from today's, as well as in a totally different international economic scenario.
I hope that the previous detail allows you to understand in part the destination to which your taxes are being directed and please never forget that you are fortunate to reside in a country and province where there is a completely free health system, which is the ideal of many other health systems in the rest of the world.