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Why Healthcare Costs Trillions Less in Canada



Canada's government-paid healthcare system costs a fraction of the amount spent on Medicare. Researchers offer two main reasons, and say that quality of care apparently has not suffered in Canada because of its parsimony.



12 comments on "Why Healthcare Costs Trillions Less in Canada"
Dan Ross (11/26/2012 at 4:31 PM)

On a population basis this study appears right on. Notice the study makes no comparison of the survival time for Canadian citizens afflicted with serious disease? A better question may be, if one diagnosed with advanced ?? and covered by Medicare would he/she chose the medical expertise of Canada or the US? In Florida our hospitals enjoy a booming business of Canadians traveling for advanced medical treatments. How long does a patient in the Canadian national system have to wait for a MRI when their GP suspects possible brain cancer? In the UK it's 3 months. In the US 3-4 days? Other countries are cheaper for the reasons highlighted in the study but additionally due to the R word, rationing!
Sue (11/21/2012 at 10:47 AM)

this artical is false, misleading and a joke
emil cici (11/19/2012 at 7:40 PM)

When was the last time the Canadian System developed a major surgical or device break thru? Why do Canadians cross over the border into the US for surgical procedures.Including the Canadian Prime Minister? When was the last time a Canadian Company developed a major drug that significantly impacted a disease entity?
Cocopinenuts (11/16/2012 at 4:02 PM)

I appreciated this article. It is important to look outside of the U.S. to see what is working.
Michael Allen (11/16/2012 at 12:56 PM)

Either the numbers in this article are wrong, or the headline and premise is terribly misleading. Based on what was presented we are spending essentially the same amount of dollars on Seniors as Canada as of 2009. I'm not sure how that translates into trillions less, unless you are referencing differences in spending from 5 or 10 years ago, because at the end we are spending the same according to the numbers. I think the term here is "Motivated Cognition" on the part of the authors. They advocate a single payer system, and use any example available to support that bias. Reality is that a single payer system doesn't solve the problem of Americans not taking proactive steps to lead healthier lives, which in the end is the primary driver of our cost problem. That is particularly true when the care is paid for by the government and thus the individual doesn't care how much of it they consume.
Jeannine Boutin (11/16/2012 at 12:31 PM)

You really have not been part of that system. People can finally get taken care of if they are admitted to the hospital, other than that, the system is absolutely terrible. Why is it that the rich and elected officials come to the US for care? By the way, that sytem is for everyone) Also, Obamacare is only for the masses, the White House, the Congress, the Senate and the Federal Employees are exempt. I suggest that you go and really see what happens in Canada before you write another article. I am very family with the system as I have family living in Montreal and was very involved in taking care of my elderly parents before they died. Jeannine Boutin
Zebra (11/16/2012 at 10:13 AM)

Please check your figures. You wrote that, in 2009, Medicare spending per beneficiary was $9,449 in the US and $9,292 in Canada. That means for ever $10 spent in the US, Canada spent $9.83, less than 2% less. The difference in the rate of growth is simply that Canada starts from a higher base rate. Or are the figures inaccurate?
Denise Ball (11/16/2012 at 9:35 AM)

After living most of my life in a border state and working at a hospital that employs many Canadian nurses, I really have to question their findings. Far too many Canadians come to the U.S. for quality medical treatment. The hospital I worked at had a whole department dedicated to handling Canadian patients.
Gregory Judd (11/16/2012 at 8:34 AM)

re: "Between 1980 and 2009, Medicare spending per beneficiary in the U.S. rose from $1,215 to $9,446, which was a 198% increase after adjusting for inflation. But in Canada, comparable spending rose from $2,141 to $9,292, or an inflation-adjusted rate of 73%." I'm not sure these numbers work. It looks like the figure for 20009 per capita spending in Canada is incorrect on the high side. Can anyone confirm?
Tim McInerney (11/15/2012 at 4:28 PM)

We waste $750 trillion a year: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/770451?src=mpnews There are many ways we could do better: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-how-cut-americas-healthcare-spending-50 Tim McInerney
Steve (11/15/2012 at 3:11 PM)

First: $154. Second: Thanks for at least mentioning the MASSIVE differences in poverty impact, and the population diversity south or the border. Third: I'm certain wait times & private access health care was properly factored in - what one doesn't measure still exists. Fourth: Some researchers have proven they can simply be dismissed from serious conversations.
bettynoyes (11/15/2012 at 2:18 PM)

I am glad you shared this comparison. Similar and even more detailed comparisons have been done by WHO years ago. Embarrassing enough the results were similar.