By the numbers: How much did Canada spend on health care in 2013?

By the end of 2013, Canadians will have racked up a bill of $211 billion on health care, a new report says. Karen Bleier/Getty Images

TORONTO — By the end of 2013, Canadians will have racked up a bill of $211 billion on health care for the year, a new report says.

In a new national report that crunches the numbers, the Canadian Institute for Health Information says that multi-billion-dollar price tag breaks down to about $5,988 per patient.

It may sound like $211 billion is breaking the bank, but CIHI says the 2013 increase in spending is only 2.6 per cent. That’s less than half the average growth of seven per cent per year that was recorded between 2000 and 2010.

“After a period of significant growth in the last decade, we’re starting to see things slow down,” Christopher Kuchciak, CIHI’s manager of health expenditures, said in a statement.

“Spending continues to increase across the board, but at a slower pace than in previous years.”

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Read more: Snapshot of health care in Canada: What you need to know

Take a look at how CIHI says Canada is set to spend $211 billion by the year’s end.

What is the money being spent on?

Graphic courtesy CIHI

(Photo courtesy CIHI)

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Previous reports have suggested that government payouts to doctors topped $22 billion in 2012 — CIHI is saying spending on physicians has reached $31 billion this year.

There are more doctors working than ever before (75,142 in 2012, according to CIHI). The number of medical grads has grown every year since 2001, and 2012 was the sixth year in a row that an increase in doctors has been documented.

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Read more: By the numbers: Doctors’ fees across Canada

Canadians are also using more health care services, in need of more medical procedures and relying on more drugs, which is also driving up costs.

Keep in mind, Canada’s population is also quickly aging. Sixty-five-year-olds could cost the system $6,431 a year while older seniors spend $20,387, CIHI says.

Who is footing the bill?

Seventy per cent of health care spending in Canada is taken care of by provincial and territorial governments. They cover the costs of hospitals and doctors to a tune of about $148 billion.

On average, governments dole out about 40 per cent of their budgets on health care spending.

Read more: By the numbers: Hospital wait times

Meanwhile, the remaining 30 per cent that typically includes medicine and dental care is paid for through health insurance or out of patients’ pockets.

This 70/30 split has been the trend for decades, CIHI says.

Which provinces spend the most?

Newfoundland and Labrador ($7,132) and Alberta ($6,787) had the highest average costs per person compared to the rest of the country.

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British Columbia ($5,775) and Quebec ($5,531) had the lowest expenses per person.

In its report to the media, CIHI provides this nationwide snapshot.

Graphic courtesy CIHI

(Photo courtesy CIHI)

Among its counterparts in the OECD, Canada is one of the top spenders.

It’s similar to how much is spent per person in Denmark, Austria and Germany, but just more than half of what’s spent on the average American.

The OECD average is $3,410, CIHI says.

Read the full report, National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2013, here.


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