National Health Expenditures: Where are Canada’s health care dollars going?

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Where are Canada’s health care dollars going?

More than 60% of total health care dollars are being spent on hospitals, drugs and physician services

Spending categories and percentages of total:

  • Administration 2.9%
  • Capital 4.0%
  • Dental care 6.2%
  • Drugs 15.7%
  • Hospitals 29.5%
  • Other 6.2%
  • Other institutions 10.7%
  • Other professionals 1.8%
  • Physicians 15.5%
  • Public health 5.5%
  • Vision care 2.0%


  • Hospitals (29.5%), drugs (15.7%) and physician services (15.5%) continue to account for the largest shares of health dollars.
  • Of the remaining 40% of health expenditure, long-term care (Other) institutions account for 10.7% of the total, while allied health professionals (Dental, Vision, Other) account for 10.0%.
  • Physician spending as a percentage of total health expenditure started edging down in 1988. However, this trend reversed in the mid-2000s. Since 2007, physician spending as a share of total health care spending has increased. In 2015, the share of 15.5% is comparable with levels seen in the late 1980s.

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