SOURCE: Canadian Health Policy Institute


October 26, 2015 05:00 ET

Canada Is Under-Investing in the Use of Medical Devices Relative to Other Countries

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 26, 2015) - A new study ranks Canada near the bottom of 72 countries when measuring medical device spending as a percentage of total health spending, slightly above Bangladesh, Iran and Cuba, but behind countries like the United States, Japan and Germany. The study was published at Canadian Health Policy the online journal of Canadian Health Policy Institute (CHPI).

The cost and use of medical technologies is often blamed for fast rates of growth in health care spending. Subsequently, significant public resources are spent by governments in Canada to control spending on medical technologies. The researchers wanted to know whether the level of spending on medical technologies in Canada justifies cost containment efforts. What they found was that Canada is actually under-investing in the use of medical devices relative to other countries.

The study examined data for 72 countries over the period 2009 to 2014. It measured the impact of medical device expenditures on total health care costs and compared the affordability of medical device expenditures relative to per capita GDP across countries.

On average from 2009 to 2014, of 72 countries for which data were available, Canada ranked 8th for total health spending per capita, but only 13th for medical device spending per capita. The country ranked 60th when measuring medical device spending as a percentage of total health spending, and 35th for medical device spending as a percentage of GDP per capita. Medical device spending per capita accounted for only 0.38% of GDP per capita in Canada on average over 2009 to 2014.

Get the Study

The study, Medical devices and health care costs in Canada and 71 other countries 2009 to 2014 is available online at: or

About CHPI

CHPI is a crowd-funded, consumer-driven, independent think-tank dedicated to conducting, publishing and communicating evidence-based research on the health system performance and health policy issues that are important to Canadians.

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