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National-level data was obtained from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey. Provincial data was obtained from CIHI and Statistics Canada databases using the OECD’s methodology.

The most recent available data was used, spanning the period 2013 to 2017.

Explore data tables for more information about specific indicators, such as data sources and methodologies.


OECD indicators

36 countries were involved in the OECD Health at a Glance 2019. National-level data was downloaded from the OECD, and provincial-level data was purchased or downloaded from Statistics Canada or calculated by CIHI using the OECD’s indicator methodologies.



Commonwealth Fund indicators

11 countries, including Canada, participated in the Commonwealth Fund’s 2016 International Health Policy Survey. Both the national-level and provincial-level indicators were calculated according to the specifications in the Commonwealth Fund survey. Data was weighted by age, gender, education, knowledge of official languages and geographic distribution according to census data.

OECD countries

For comparison purposes, Canada’s peer countries were identified. Based on a scan of 26 international studies, the peer countries were chosen according to the size of their economies, level of resources to devote to health and data collection systems.

* Peer country.
† Country that participated in the Commonwealth Fund survey.

  • Australia*†
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France*†
  • Germany*†
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands*†
  • New Zealand*†
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden*†
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom*†
  • United States*†

Methodological considerations

OECD indicators

To compare Canadian provinces with OECD countries, CIHI applied the OECD’s indicator methodologies to provincial data. That's why results for provincial indicators in the web tool may not match those for similar indicators published by CIHI in other reports.

Here are examples of differences in indicator methodologies that can affect provincial results:

  • CIHI adjusts some indicator results on the basis of risk, including comorbidities. OECD indicators are not risk-adjusted.
  • For some indicators, CIHI uses multiple years of data to reduce year-to-year variability. The OECD uses 1 year of data.
  • CIHI uses data from the Canadian Census of Population to standardize its indicators according to age and sex. The OECD’s indicators are standardized using the population of all OECD countries combined.

These methodological differences limit the comparability of these OECD indicator results with those of other CIHI reports.

Canadian methods that have been specifically designed for regional comparisons in Canada should be used when making interprovincial comparisons.

The Commonwealth Fund indicators

CIHI's eTool includes 9 indicators that use data from the 2016 Commonwealth Fund survey of the adult population age 18 and older. Because the survey has not been repeated since 2016, these indicator results have not been updated in the eTool for 2019.

Suppression rules

To maintain privacy and for public reporting purposes, provincial indicator results were suppressed when the underlying count was small or the rates were unstable. The following suppression rules were applied to the indicator results:

  • The indicator rates are suppressed for public reporting if the number of cases is less than 5 (i.e., 1 to 4).
  • The indicator rates are classified as unstable and not reported if adding 1 case to the numerator changes the rate for a province by more than 10% of the national rate.
  • For the cancer mortality rates, some results are suppressed by Statistics Canada to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.

The Canadian results include data from all provinces, even if the province-specific result was suppressed. When data was not reportable for 2 or more provinces, 2 years of data were combined, where possible, for all provinces to allow for reporting across most provinces. As a result, 2 years of data were combined for the following indicators:

  • OECD: Rate of Foreign Body Left in During Procedure
  • OECD: Rate of Post-Operation Pulmonary Embolism: Hip and Knee Replacement Surgeries

For additional methodological information, please contact us at hsr@cihi.ca.