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.

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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.

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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.

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