How has health spending growth changed over the last 40+ years?

The current trend appears similar to what occurred in the mid-1990s

How much will we spend on health in 2016?

  • 228 billion dollars
  • 2.7 percentage growth
  • 6299 dollars per person
  • 11.1 percent of GDP

Source: National Health Expenditure Database, Canadian Institute for Health Information


  • A new period of growth is emerging. Since 2011, health spending has decreased by an average of 0.6% per year. This average rate is comparable with that in the mid-1990s.
  • Current trends reflect, in large part, Canada’s modest economic growth and fiscal restraint as governments focus on balancing budgetary deficits.
  • In contrast, from 1996 to 2010, major investments were made in health care, including spending on physicians, drugs, hospitals and advanced diagnostics.
  • Overall, the health-to-GDP ratio in Canada has trended upward in the last 40+ years.