Health Spending Data

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Health care dollars are almost always in short supply, and in tough economic times they are increasingly scarce. Whatever the climate, stakeholders and taxpayers want to know that these dollars are being well spent.

To track how money is being spent, we maintain these databases:

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.

We welcome your feedback and questions

Contact us at these email addresses:

  • Canadian MIS Database (CMDB):
  • Canadian Patient Cost Database (CPCD):
  • MIS Standards:
  • National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX):
  • National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) Database:
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Health Database (Canadian Segment):

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

Information on health spending data

gif/internet/IMG_ANCHOR_ICON_EN Reports and analyses
gif/internet/IMG_ANCHOR_ICON_EN Databases and data sources
/CIHI-ext-portal/gif/internet/IMG_ANCHOR_ICON_EN Metadata
/CIHI-ext-portal/gif/internet/IMG_ANCHOR_ICON_EN Methodology
/CIHI-ext-portal/gif/internet/IMG_ANCHOR_ICON_EN Related content

Reports and analyses

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 such as these:

  • How much is spent on health care every year?
  • What is the money used for and who is it spent on?
  • Where does the money come 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.

National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System Database 

The National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) Database contains claims-level data collected from publicly financed drug benefit programs in Canada. The database also contains supporting information for additional context:

  • Formulary and drug product information
  • Information on policies of public drug plans in Canada

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’s website.


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)

National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) Database

OECD Health Database (Canadian Segment)


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, including health regions, are expected to submit MIS Standards–compliant financial and statistical data relating to health services to the CMDB. 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 databases
  • Demographic and vital statistics databases at Statistics Canada


Use CIHI's accessibility request form to request CIHI documentation in an accessible format.