Monday, October 4, 2010 | Categories: Shift
History of Old Age - Pat Thane
Last year, Canada spent just over 183-Billion-dollars on health care. That's nearly 12 per cent of our gross domestic product. And according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, we're not going to be able to sustain that kind of spending. In its latest report on Canada's economy, the OECD says an aging population will strain both our health care system and our economy. That sounds ominous.
But the thing is, we've heard this before. In 1938, a British economist said his country was creeping towards "national suicide" because of increased life expectancy and declining birth rates. And in the mid 1990s, the World Bank weighed in with a report called Averting the Old Age Crisis. We aired part of what it said.
Pat Thane is the author of Old Age in English History and the editor of The Long History of Old Age. She teaches contemporary History at the University of London in the UK. She was in London this morning.