Canada must be cautious in boosting health-care spending or risk undoing all its efforts to balance the national books and lower taxes, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.
The major study into Canada's finances came only two days before the long-awaited final report of the Romanow commission on the future of health care.
Romanow is expected to call for sizable increases in health budgets in his report, to be released Thursday.
In its study, completed last week but only released Tuesday, the IMF praised Canada's efforts to eliminate its deficit and cut deep into the country's long-term debt.
That has helped insulate Canada's economy from the global downturn and put it on the best growth track seen this year among the world's richest countries, said the IMF.
But all the sacrifices Canadians have made to achieve fiscal stability could be undermined if Ottawa goes too far in health-care spending, the report said.