The present report provides an overview of the economics of the Health Care and Social Assistance (HCSA) sector and its associated labour market. The author progressively funnels the analysis from the national perspective, towards the provincial and local-regional views. The emphasis is on the HCSA and its labour market in Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford counties.
A few highlights from the report:
- Three main issues will affect profoundly the HCSA sector in the future: demographic shifts, serving population at risk and fiscal control
- The proposed macro solutions to the challenges of the sector are: superior management, technological update and careful development of the labour force
- The specific implementation of these macro solutions take various operational forms such as: reduction of waiting times, implementation of the electronic medical records, e-prescriptions, reconciliation of pharmaceutical prescriptions, drop in prices of the generic drugs, public heath prevention, an increased number of physicians and nurses serving in various settings, tele-health, etc.
- The positive signals of economic recovery give us a perspective upon the short term prospects for the sector. Once the Canadian economy is set again for economic expansion, some of these challenges will be viewed differently. However, the sustainability of the sector in long-term is an issue of concern for many researchers and policy makers
- Nationally the sector has a contribution of around 7% to the national GDP
- During the recession (2008/2009) the sector had a larger percent contribution to the GDP than afterwards
- Nationally the HCSA sector employs about 1,758,990 people and operates 158,429 business establishments mostly concentrated on “Micro” (1-4 employees) and “Small” (5-99 employees) size establishments, or “Indeterminate” (self-employed)
- Between 2009 and 2014, the national HCSA sector experienced growth in the number of establishments for all size categories excepting “Large” (500+ employees) establishments, which decreased by around 6%. The largest growth has been experienced for smaller size establishment categories
- The current reports indicates that Ontario is above national average on technological update: electronic medical records, e-prescriptions, reconciliation of medical records, tele-health, etc.
- In the past ten years, Ontario increased its HCSA operations by 23 new hospitals and added another 20,000 nurses to its labour force
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