Cost of N.B. chronic illness care could skyrocket by $100M: report

The cost of caring for New Brunswickers with chronic illnesses could go up by $100 million over the next seven years, according to a report by the New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC).

The report looked at the financial implications of increasing chronic illness diagnoses and how, as those numbers go up, the burden on the health care system grows bigger.

READ MORE: Aging population contributing to more cases of Alzheimer’s, Dementia

The report found that 62 per cent of all New Brunswickers have at least one chronic illness, pointing out that, as patients are diagnosed with more that one illness, the costs of care increase significantly.

Patients who are diagnosed with one or two chronic conditions cost the health care system about $2,866 each year.

When patients have three or more illnesses, that cost jumps to $5,232 per person each year.

Those costs cover hospital stays, prescription drugs, visits to the emergency room and other services such as land ambulances, Tele-Care 811 and doctors.

According to the report, the need for care for those with chronic conditions, like hypertension or arthritis is on the rise, while the need for care for New Brunswickers with acute illnesses, like infections and burns remains stable.

NBHC has given two recommendations to the health care system they believe will slow the projected rise in cost of care:

Reallocating resources and emphasizing prevention and health promotion to try to reduce chronic illnesses.Aligning health system resources to better manage patients currently dealing with chronic conditions, emphasizing comprehensive primary health care and community health care.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: Auditor General calls on New Brunswick government to develop nursing home plan

NBHC CEO Stéphane Robichaud said the increased probability of more patients being diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses as they get older is a major contributor to the rising cost of care, as they will continue to rely more and more on services like hospitals, medications and home care.

The department of health says it continues to work with its partners to address the root causes of chronic illnesses, and it’s exploring alternative models of health care delivery that will provide more integrated and coordinated care.

“The report from the New Brunswick Health Council provides valuable insights into some of the challenges we face in terms of meeting future health care needs and doing so within a sustainable system” Health Minister Victor Boudreau said.

The NBHC is an independent organization that monitors and evaluates the province’s health care system.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation