Comparing Performance of Universal Health Care Countries, 2016

Canada’s is among the most expensive universal-access health-care systems in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. After adjustment for age, it ranks 3rd highest for expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP and 5th highest for health-care expenditure per capita. Despite this level of spending, it has significantly fewer physicians, acute care beds and psychiatric beds per capita compared to the average OECD country (it ranks close to the average for nurses). Further, while Canada has the most Gamma cameras (per million population), it has fewer other medical technologies than the average high-income OECD country with universal health care for which comparable inventory data is available.

Canada has one of the most expensive universal health-care systems in the OECD. However, its performance for availability and access to resources is generally below that of the average OECD country, while its performance for use of resources and quality and clinical performance is mixed. Clearly, there is an imbalance between the value Canadians receive and the relatively high amount of money they spend on their health-care system.

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