Health Care Spending in Canada

Posted on January 13, 2007. Filed under: Personal Blog |

Some facts about Health Care spending in Canada. All statistics and graphics are from the Romanow Report.

Do most Canadians feel that the health care system is failing to meet their needs?

No. The percentage of Canadians who say they have “unmet health care needs” is only 12%. It’s highest in Nunavut, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories where up to 18% of people say that. In fact, surveys consistently show that the large majority of Canadians are consistently either “extremely satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the health care system.


Does Canada fund health care from taxes a lot more than Western European governments do?

No, the public share of health expenditures in Canada is about average for a rich country. In 1998 it was below the OECD and G7 averages (as the following chart shows). After Paul Martin’s funding boost, it is probably slightly above average.

Public Health Care Funding in Canada in Comparison with select WHO member states


Is there much less out-of-pocket expenditure on health in Canada than in most European countries?

No. In fact, Canadians pay more “out-of-pocket” than Americans do (!) and more than the average G7 country does.

Out of pocket spending on health care in Canada and other countries


Overall, public and private expenditures combined, is Canada spending much more money on health care than European countries do?

No. The amount of money we spend on health care is in line with other G7 and OECD countries.  We are certainly in the upper quartile – I’m not saying that our health care spending is low – but I think it is wrong to say that it is way out of line with other rich states. 

Overall health care expenditures amongst rich countries


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