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Hospitals in Canada - Statistics & Facts

Hospitals are the cornerstones of most health systems. In 2019, there were over a thousand hospitals in Canada, for a total population of 37.6 million people. Hospitals usually represent the highest health expenditure of a country. Health expenditure as a share of GDP was rather high in Canada, and most of these health expenses were spent on hospitals. The hospital density in Canada stood at roughly 19 hospitals per million people. Although the concentration of hospitals was not especially high in comparison to other countries, Canada's was higher than in the U.S. Despite this, the density of hospital beds in Canada decreased over the years. In 2019, per 1,000 people, there were five hospital beds less than three decades ago. On the other hand, employment increased in Canadian hospitals. Canadian hospitals notably employed over 644 thousand people in 2019.

The hospital landscape in Canada

There were approximately 15 general hospitals per million population in Canada. The rate of general hospitals in Canada was slightly higher than for U.S. hospitals, yet lower than many other OECD countries. In 2018, there were 708 publicly owned hospitals in Canada, whereas there were only seven for-profit hospitals privately owned in the country. The rate of publicly funded hospitals in Canada was therefore much higher than the rate of for-profit private hospitals. In 2019, most Canadian hospitals were non-employer, meaning that these hospitals have no (or an indeterminate) quantity of employees. From a regional perspective, most Canadian hospitals are situated in Ontario, followed by Quebec. Unsurprisingly, these two Canadian regions have, by far, the highest populations.

Canadian hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus continues to challenge health systems across Canada. In 2020, the intensive care bed density in Canada was a third of the comparative figure found in Germany and half of the one found in the U.S. The rate of hospital beds in Canada was nearly half of the OECD country’s average in 2019. Furthermore, Canada has a high curative hospital bed occupancy, while the average length of stay for curative care in Canadian hospitals was below the OECD average. High occupancy rates may be a sign that a health system is under pressure and that there may be a risk of bed shortages and higher rates of infection. Nonetheless, canceled surgeries resulted in fewer hospital admissions in Canada. For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 22 most important statistics relating to "Hospitals in Canada".


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