Skip to main content Accessibility help

Anticipating Change: How Many Acute Care Hospital Beds Will Manitoba Regions Need in 2020?

  • Gregory S. Finlayson (a1), David Stewart (a2), Robert B. Tate (a1), Leonard MacWilliam (a1) and Noralou Roos (a1)...


Being able to anticipate future needs for health services presents a challenge for health planners. Using existing population projections, two models are presented to estimate the demand for hospital beds in regions of Manitoba in 2020. The first, a current-use projection model, simply projects the average use for a recent three-year period into the future. The second, a 10-year trend analysis, uses Poisson regression to project future demand. The current-use projection suggests a substantial increase in the demand for hospital beds, while the trend analysis projects a decline. The last projections are consistent with ongoing increases in rates of day surgeries and declines in lengths of stay. The current-use projections need to be considered in the context of relatively low occupancy rates in rural hospitals and previous research on appropriateness of stays in acute care hospitals. If measures are taken to ensure more appropriate use of acute care hospital beds in the future, then the current-use projections of bed shortages are not a cause for concern.

Pouvoir anticiper les besoins à venir en matière de services de santé constitue un défi pour les personnes responsables de la planification en matière de santé. Au moyen des prévisions démographiques existantes, cette étude présente deux méthodes visant à évaluer la demande en matière de lits d'hôpitaux dans les régions du Manitoba en 2020. La première méthode, qui s'appuie sur une projection fondée sur l'utilisation actuelle, consiste tout simplement à effectuer une projection dans l'avenir à partir de l'utilisation moyenne au cours d'une période de trois ans. La deuxième méthode, une analyse des tendances sur dix ans, utilise la méthode de régression de Poisson pour déterminer les besoins futurs. La projection fondée sur l'utilisation actuelle révèle une augmentation substantielle des besoins en matière de lits d'hôpitaux, tandis que l'analyse des tendances prévoit une diminution. Les dernières prévisions concordent avec l'augmentation constante du nombre de chirurgies d'un jour et la diminution de la durée des séjours. Les prévisions fondées sur l'utilisation actuelle doivent être envisagées dans le cadre des taux d'occupation relativement bas dans les hôpitaux ruraux et des recherches antérieures sur la pertinence des séjours dans des hôpitaux de soins de courte durée. Si, à l'avenir, des mesures sont prises pour assurer une utilisation plus appropriée des lits destinés aux soins de courte durée, les prévisions des pénuries de lits fondées sur l'utilisation actuelle ne représentent pas une source d'inquiétudes.


Corresponding author

Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être addressées à : Gregory S. Finlayson, B.A., C.A.E., Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 727 McDermot Avenue, Suite 408, Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5. (


Hide All
Barer, M.L., Evans, R.G., & Hertzman, C. (1995). Avalanche or glacier? Health care and the demographic rhetoric. Canadian Journal on Aging, 14(2), 193224.
Bruce, S., De Coster, C., Trumble Waddell, J., Burchill, C., & DeHaney, S. (2001). Acuity of patients hospitalized for medical conditions at Winnipeg acute care hospitals. Winnipeg: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
Carrière, Y. (2000). The impact of population aging and hospital days. In Gee, E.M. and Gutman, G.M. (Eds.), The overselling of population aging. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2644.
De Coster, C., Bruce, S., & Kozyrskyj, A. (2005). Use of acute-care hospitals by long-stay patients: Who, how much, and why? Canadian Journal on Aging, 25 (Suppl. 1), 97106.
De Coster, C., Peterson, S., & Kasian, P. (1996). Alternatives to acute care. Winnipeg: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation.
Denton, F.T., & Spencer, B.G. (1995). Demographic change and the cost of publicly funded health care. Canadian Journal on Aging, 14(2), 174192.
Direction de la santé publique. (1999). Annual report on the health of the Montreal population: Prevent, cure, care challenges of an ageing society. Montreal: Régie régionale de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal-Centre.
Evans, R.G., McGrail, K.M., Morgan, S.G., Barer, M.L., & Hertzman, C. (2001). Apocalypse no: Population aging and the future of health care systems. Canadian Journal on Aging, 20(Suppl. 1), 160191.
Finlayson, M., Lix, L., Finlayson, G., & Fong, T. (2005). Trends in the utilization of specific health care services among older Manitobans: 1985 to 2001. Canadian Journal on Aging, 25(Suppl. 1), 1527.
Frohlich, N., De Coster, C., & Dik, N. (2002). Estimating personal care home bed requirements. Winnipeg: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.
Fuchs, V. (1999). Health care for the elderly: How much? Who will pay for it? Health Affairs, 18(1), 1121.
Maioni, A. (2002). Health care in the new millennium. In Bakvis, H. & Skogstad, G. (Eds.), Canadian federalism: Performance, effectiveness and legitimacy. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press. 87104.
Manitoba Bureau of Statistics. (2000). Manitoba health regions population projections June 1, 1998–June 1, 2025. Winnipeg: Author.
Mazankowski, D. (2001). A framework for reform: Report of the Premier's Advisory Council on Health. Edmonton: Premier's Advisory Council on Health.
Menec, V., Bruce, S., & MacWilliam, L. (2005). Exploring reasons for bed pressures in Winnipeg acute care hospitals. Canadian Journal on Aging, 24(Suppl. 1), 121131.
Postl, B. (2002). Foreword. Healthcare Management Forum. (Winter), 6–8.
Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health. (2000). Understanding Canada's health care costs: Final report. Ottawa: Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs Conference Secretariat. Retrieved April 7, 2004, from
Robson, W.B.P. (2001). Will the baby boomers bust the health budget? Demographic change and health care financing reform (C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, No. 148). Toronto: C.D. Howe Institute.
Romanow, R.J. (2002). Commission on the future of health care in Canada. Ottawa: Queen's Printer.
Roos, N.P., Shapiro, E., Bond, R., Black, C., Finlayson, G., Newburn-Cook, C., MacWilliam, L., Steinbach, C., Yogendran, M., & Walld, R. (2001). Changes in health and health care use of Manitobans, 1985–1998. Winnipeg: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation.
Rosenberg, M.W., & James, A.M. (2000). Medical services utilization patterns by seniors. Canadian Journal on Aging, 19(1), 125142.
Statistics Canada. (2001). Population projections for 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2021 and 2026, at July 1. Retrieved January 6, 2005, from
Stewart, D., Black, C., Martens, P., Peterson, S., & Friesen, D. (2000). Assessing the performance of rural and northern hospitals in Manitoba: A first look. Winnipeg: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation.
Stewart, D., Finlayson, G., MacWilliam, L., & Roos, N.P. (2002). Projecting hospital bed needs for 2020. Winnipeg: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.
Tate, R., MacWilliam, L., & Finlayson, G. (2005). A methodology for estimating hospital bed need in Manitoba in 2020. Canadian Journal on Aging, 25(Suppl. 1), 141151.
Wilmore, D.W., & Kehlet, H. (2001). Recent advances: Management of patients in fast track surgery. British Medical Journal, 322, 473476.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed