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A new Quebec study says health-care reforms are inevitable

MONTREAL - A new study says Quebec will be able to keep most of its current social system as long as it reforms its health-care network and achieves a balanced budget as quickly as possible.

The study was conducted for the Institut du Quebec and was headed by former provincial finance minister Raymond Bachand.

Its release today comes about one week before the tabling of the new Liberal government's first budget.

The study predicts Quebec's structural deficit could find itself at an insupportable level by 2035 because of an aging population.

Bachand says that's why it's important to put the brakes on the increase in health expenses in Quebec, which the Conference Board of Canada estimates have climbed by an average of 5.2 per cent a year over the past 10 years.

He said in an interview the health-care system could continue to operate at a 4.2 per cent growth rate.

But he says if Quebec continues to do things the way they were done 20 years ago, there will be major problems that will devasate other programs.

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