By the time you read this article, the first thing that will likely come to mind is: why?
The answer to that question is that the Canadian medical system has become more complex and fragmented.
The provinces are dealing with the pressures of chronic disease, as are the territories.
Many doctors are leaving, and there are still many waiting for new appointments, even when they have been on the job for years.
The federal government is stepping up funding for home care, with the hope that it will help balance the pressures and give doctors the space they need to help people stay connected with their families.
But a report released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) on Thursday suggests that there is more work to be done.
Its annual report shows that Canada’s doctors are spending more on home care than any other profession.
Home care is a critical part of Canada’s health-care system, and it is growing.
And while the number of doctors working in home health services has increased by more than 50 per cent since 2007, it is still well below the levels of decades past.
This year’s report also reveals that the number working in the field has been growing faster than any one of the three other key health sectors in Canada.
Health care has also become a more lucrative field than it has been in decades.
The average salary of a home care practitioner in 2017 was $160,000.
But that’s more than triple the average pay of a family physician, according to the report.
While the report found that home care has been an attractive, low-cost profession for many years, it does so at a time when there is growing evidence that home health care is more expensive than other types of care.
In 2015, a study by the University of British Columbia showed that the average cost of home care was $9,739.
That’s more expensive, but less than the average salary for a family doctor, and only a little more than the typical annual income for a full-time home health worker.
“There are more doctors than there are jobs in this country,” said Erin Campbell, who researches health systems at the University.
“We have so many new challenges.
So many more barriers to entry.
It’s so hard to get a job that doesn’t require years of training and experience.”
For many Canadians, home care is their primary care, and the number caring for elderly and disabled people is rapidly growing.
There are now 2.3 million Canadians living with chronic illnesses in their homes.
That number is expected to rise to 3.4 million by 2020.
But the home care sector has seen a rapid growth in recent years, with home care doctors growing at about five times the rate of other health professionals, according the PBO report.
Many of those doctors have moved to smaller cities and towns where the demand for home health workers has grown as more people travel to work in other countries.
The report found some troubling trends.
Doctors working in private practices are earning more than their peers working in public hospitals and doctors working at large organizations, such as universities, hospitals and medical centers.
In rural areas, home health doctors earn more than doctors working for other health systems.
The report noted that the proportion of Canadian doctors working part-time or part-year contracts is now at a record high of 32 per cent, even though the number is only 12 per cent of the population.
The PBO’s report, published online on Thursday, also found that the growth of home health in the past decade has been fuelled by factors that are not unique to the Canadian home care market.
The cost of medicine is rising, as is the number and quality of medical training for doctors working there.
And the PBE also noted that many of the provinces that have created home care systems, such, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, are seeing their own populations grow at rates that are outpacing national growth.
The new report also highlighted the need for greater collaboration between provinces and territories.
As more doctors retire, some jurisdictions are seeing the need to increase home care funding for their doctors.
The PBO says this is a good idea, because it can help keep physicians in their communities.
“We need to work together,” said Dr. Mark Roesch, chair of the Canadian Association of Home Care Administrators (CAHCA).
“We can’t do it all at once.”