Universal healthcare is often touted as a perk of being Canadian. But for Canadian retirees — and for Canadian employees, for that matter — putting extra money aside for healthcare in another country might be a wise move.
Although Canada spends more on healthcare than nearly all comparable countries, it ranks low in performance, finds a study by the Fraser Institute. Canada’s system has fewer resources, mixed reviews on care quality and long wait times.
Yet in 2012, the most recent year of readily comparable cost data, Canada’s healthcare spending as a share of GDP (10.6%) ranked third highest after adjusting for age — behind only the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Comparing 28 universal healthcare systems in developed countries, the study finds that Canada ranks:
- 24th out of 28 for number of physicians (fewer than three per 1,000 people);
- 18th out of 26 for the number of MRI machines (9.2 per million people);
- last for wait times (29% of patients wait two months or more; 18%, four months or more);
- last for the number of acute care beds.
Read the full report online.