Comparing countries can help Canadians understand how well their health system is working. Although health information is collected and used differently in every country, policy-makers, practitioners and the public can use international comparisons to establish priorities for improvement, set goals and motivate stakeholders to act.

Our International Comparisons at CIHI document summarizes CIHI's work on international health data and knowledge production and highlights the performance of Canada's health systems compared to those of peer countries.

Comparing the provinces with OECD countries

International comparisons provide provincial and territorial governments with a broader context for benchmarking and peer learning. CIHI’s interactive web tool compares results from Canada’s provinces with those from OECD countries.

OECD Interactive Tool: Compare the provinces with OECD countries

The Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy surveys

The Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy surveys fill important information gaps by polling patients and providers in a number of developed countries. CIHI’s companion reports on the following surveys highlight the Canadian story and examine how experiences vary across Canada and relative to other developed countries.

Reports and analyses

International Comparisons: A Focus on Diabetes (2015)

This report uses data from the OECD’s biennial report Health at a Glance 2015 to compare Canada internationally across 5 dimensions of care. Using the topic of diabetes as an example, the report illustrates how comparing Canada’s indicator results with those of international comparators can provide context for our performance and point to potential strategies for improvement.

International Comparisons: A Focus on Quality of Care (2014)

As health care systems evolve to meet new demands and growing needs, measuring and monitoring quality of care has become increasingly common both in Canada and worldwide. This report uses the OECD’s quality of care indicators to provide an in-depth look at the quality of care within Canada’s health care system, compared with systems in other countries. These comparisons can help us identify best performers and determine benchmarks for quality improvement.

Benchmarking Canada’s Health System: International Comparisons (2013)

The OECD compares member countries on a number of key health indicators in its biennial report Health at a Glance 2013. This CIHI Analysis in Brief focuses on the Canadian results for a selection of OECD indicators and identifies areas where Canada performs well and where it can improve. As an illustration of the relationships among indicators, Canada’s performance on lung cancer mortality is explored.

Learning From the Best: Benchmarking Canada’s Health System (2011)

This Analysis in Brief, the first in the international comparisons series, examines Canadians’ health status, non-medical determinants of health, quality of care and access to care. It is based on international results that appeared in the OECD’s Health at a Glance 2011, which provided statistics and indicators for comparing health systems across its 34 member countries.


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