Ontario spends relatively less on hospitals and more on drugs and doctors

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has just released a fairly interesting report entitled The Changing Face of Ontario Healthcare.   Here's what I draw from the report:

  • Provincial government health care spending in 2010  is $173 per capita less in Ontario than other provinces.  That means $173 less for every person in the province for the year.  And that means a saving of $2.3 billion province-wide.
  • All of this (and more) is accounted for by spending less per capita than other provinces on hospitals.  Ontario spends $262 less per capita than the other provinces.  In total that is a saving of $3.5 billion for all of Ontario.
  • The gap between what Ontario spends and what other provinces spend has increased every year since 2005 when the difference was only $86 per capita.
  • Unlike hospitals, Ontario spends more per capita than any other province on physicians: $192 more per capita than the other provinces. The gap between what Ontario spends and what other provinces spend has grown since 2005 when it was only $126 more in Ontario.
  • Ontario also spends more per capita on drugs, even a little more than Quebec which is the home of the brand name drug industry in Canada.  Per capita, Ontario spends $61 more than the other province per capita. The gap has remained pretty constant since 2005.
  • Ontario would have to increase hospital spending by 3.5% to match the average of the other provinces. Notably, almost all of that could be achieved if physician and drug spending also matched what other provinces are spending.
The OHA report is brief and worth a read. It is largely based on data in the 2010 National Healthcare Expenditure Report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).


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