Drug costs rising fast in Canadian health-care spending, report finds

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2017 total health care costs rise to about $6,600 per person in Canada

(Nicole Ireland/CBC News) — Hospitals still account for the biggest portion of heath-care spending in Canada but drugs are the fastest-growing expense, according to new data released Tuesday.

Total health spending is expected to reach $242 billion in Canada in 2017, or $6,604 per Canadian, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). That’s an increase of almost $200 per person over 2016.

The report says the costs vary across the country — with the highest health-care spending in Canada’s north. In the Northwest Territories, the cost per person is $17,150. In the provinces, health-care costs per person range from $7,378 in Newfoundland and Labrador to $6,321 in British Columbia.

Alberta ranks 2nd highest on health-care spending despite youthful population

Hospitals account for 28.3 per cent of health-care spending in Canada, at a per capita cost of $1,871 per Canadian. Drugs cost $1,086 per Canadian when averaged across the population, making up 16.4 per cent of total health costs. Physician costs round out the top three spending drivers, at 15.4 per cent per Canadian, or $1,014 per person. (…)

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