Doctors alarmed at growth in Seniors Poverty

Doctors alarmed at growth in Seniors Poverty

OECD Report on Seniors’ Poverty “Alarming” says CMA President

OTTAWA, Nov. 26, 2013 /CNW/ – New data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that points to increasing poverty among Canadian seniors underlines the country’s urgent need for a national seniors care strategy, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said today.

The report found that although poverty rates among seniors fell in many OECD countries between 2007 and 2010, inCanada they actually rose by about two percentage points. The CMA says rising poverty rates will put even greater strain on Canada’s health care system, particularly given that patients age 65 or older already account for nearly half of Canada’s health care spending (45% in 2009).

“By 2036 one-quarter of Canadians will be over the age of 65,” said CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti. “That is why the CMA has called on the federal government to collaborate with provincial, territorial and municipal governments to establish and invest in a pan-Canadian strategy for seniors’ care.”

Describing the OECD finding as “alarming,” Dr. Francescutti noted that a recent CMA report, What Makes us Sick, identified poverty as a key factor causing people to suffer poor health.

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