In 2018, total health expenditure in Canada is expected to reach $253.5 billion, or $ 6,839 per person. It is anticipated that, overall, health spending will represent 11.3% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). To learn more, see our report National Health Expenditure Trends.

To track how health dollars are being spent, we maintain these databases

OECD Health Database (Canadian Segment), maintained by CIHI and Statistics Canada, the data source that includes a consistent series of internationally comparable data for most of the 1,200 variables contained in the OECD database.

Combined, these data sources help us provide our stakeholders with trend analyses and short-term forecasts on health spending in Canada. They also track hospital financial performance and spending related to patient care.

Information on Health Spending Data

 Key reports and analyses
 Databases and data sources
 Metadata
 Methodology

Key reports and analyses

National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2018 (Nov. 2018)
This report provides an overview of how much is spent on health care annually, what and who the money is being spent on, and where the money comes from.

Prescribed Drug Spending in Canada, 2018: A Focus on Public Drug Programs (Nov. 2018)
This report provides an in-depth look at public drug program spending using data from CIHI’s National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS).

Understanding Variability in the Cost of a Standard Hospital Stay
This report explores observed variability in the indicator Cost of a Standard Hospital Stay, considering such things as staff mix, teaching status and facility size.

Health Spending — Nursing Homes (Nov 2014)
This information sheet contains key messages on health spending in nursing homes including how much is spent, who is providing the care and the role of the private sector.

Databases and data sources

National Health Expenditure Database

The National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX) collects, processes and analyzes summary data on all health spending in Canada. It has a wealth of data, extending back to 1975. The data tables are updated annually and are available free of charge.

The information facilitates provincial/territorial, national and international comparative reporting and also supports policy planning, decision-making and research. It helps answer questions about

  • How much is spent on health care every year
  • What the money is used for and whom it is spent on
  • Where that money comes from

Canadian MIS Database

The Canadian MIS Database (CMDB) is the national data source for financial and statistical information about hospitals and other health service organizations.
The information in the CMDB can potentially be used to cost the activities of health service organizations. It forms the basis of management reporting, including annual general purpose financial statements, financial ratio analysis and operational budgeting.

Canadian Patient Cost Database

The Canadian Patient Cost Database (CPCD) contains patient-level data from more than 60 organizations in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. Costs relate to the individual encounter level for inpatient, outpatient, long-term care, complex continuing care, mental health and rehabilitation services.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Health Database (Canadian Segment)

The OECD Health Database (Canadian Segment) is a result of the collaboration between CIHI and Statistics Canada. It processes a consistent series of internationally comparable data for most of the 1,200 variables contained in the OECD database.

The database supports policy planning, decision-making and research, and facilitates international comparative reporting. The OECD Health Database is divided into 11 categories and can be downloaded from the OECD'sExternal link, opens in new window website.

Metadata

Metadata is information about data. It helps users understand and interpret data from a specific source.

Find out more about the following data sources:

Canadian MIS Database (CMDB)

Canadian Patient Cost Database (CPCD)

National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX)

OECD Health Database (Canadian Segment)

Methodology

Data for NHEX is extracted from public documents, including national and provincial/territorial public accounts and other financial reports. Other sources include:

  • Private insurance companies
  • The firm AC Nielsen Canada
  • Statistics Canada.

Our methodology for reporting on trends in health spending, including how spending is categorized, is available in our annual report.

The CMDB records financial and statistical information based on a standardized chart of accounts. Hospitals and other health service organizations are expected to submit MIS Standards–compliant financial and statistical data relating to health services to the CMDB including health regions. Most health service organizations submit their data through their respective ministries of health.

Most Canadian data for the OECD Health Database originates from

  • Databases maintained by CIHI and Statistics Canada, such as the health expenditures, health services and health professionals database
  • Demographic and vital statistics databases at Statistics Canada

We welcome your feedback and questions

Contact us at these email addresses:

  • Canadian MIS Database (CMDB): fsi@cihi.ca
  • Canadian Patient Cost Database (CPCD): fsi@cihi.ca
  • National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX): nhex@cihi.ca
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Health Database (Canadian Segment): oecdcs@cihi.ca

Have a data inquiry or research question? Make a data request.