Business Outlook of Healthcare in Canada



Healthcare in Canada is delivered through a combination of provincial and territorial systems of publicly funded healthcare. According to the market database, the federal government has a greater responsibility to draft the policies for public welfare and allocate resources judicially. The healthcare module in Canada has followed a decentralized and universal system termed the Canada Medicare. Market research states that the system is guided by the provisions of the Canada health act of 1984.


Market research tools suggest that Canadian Medicare provides coverage for approximately 70% of the Canadians healthcare needs and the remaining 30% by the private sector. The market database also indicates that the private sector has mainly contributed to the services that are not included under the umbrella of the Medicare program. These services generally include prescription drugs, eye care, dental, cosmetic treatments, and other advanced treatments as per market research. The market database also states that the health coverage is not affected by loss or change of jobs. It cannot be denied based on unpaid premiums and there are no lifetime limits for pre-existing conditions. Market research tools like Global Market Database can be used to study the competitive mapping for healthcare programs implemented globally. The market intelligence tool studies the shift in line with changing market trends.


COVID-19 disrupted the healthcare in Canada. Market database suggests that the region experienced a significant number of cases which led to increased stress towards the medical services being provided. The COVID-19 induced pandemic also accelerated the adoption of newer trends such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, digital platforms, and others. The change in market outlook and the business recovery associated with this sector can also be studied through market research tools.


Market analysis states that increased spending towards the improvement of healthcare IT systems was observed in the region. The economy navigated well during the first wave and was able to mobilize the necessary resources without sacrificing the patient experience. Canada has officially started with the vaccination drive in the country and has taken the necessary steps to ensure a smooth process.


Analysis of Diseases:

According to the market database, Canada has a spectrum of different diseases that need to be dealt with. In 2019, 80% of Canadians self-reported having at least one major risk factor of chronic disease as per market research tools. Market database states that these factors included smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and excessive alcohol use. Such factors have placed Canada in the higher ranks for various chronic diseases.


Market Database suggests that Canada has one of the highest rates of adult obesity among the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).  Market research platforms like Global Market Database can be used to understand the change in lifestyle patterns and growth in diseases associated with the same.  According to a report published by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 2019, Canada recorded the mean annual expenditure per person of USD 4,397 related to diabetes treatment. Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), respiratory diseases, and diabetes accounted for 65% of deaths in Canada for the year 2019.


Market research tools also indicate that the country has also witnessed a rise in the aging population. In a survey conducted by Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), eight chronic conditions that are prevalent in seniors include high blood pressure, arthritis, back problems, eye problems, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and urinary inconsistency.


The COVID-19 Impact in Medicare:

Market research tools state that the COVID-19 induced pandemic resulted in a major shift towards the adoption of digital platforms to deliver healthcare services efficiently. Canada just like the rest of the world, experimented with virtual solutions to improve the quality of the medical services without compromising on the COVID-19 protocols. The change in business growth dynamics owing to COVID-19 can be studied via market research tools like Global Market Database. For example, CIHI reported in 2020 that physicians quickly adopted the digital trends. They were able to provide 52% of the medical care virtually, which included the use of online platforms and phones. The growth in market penetration for digital trends can be studied through market intelligence tools like Global Market Database.


Market research tools like steep reduction in the patient footfalls in the medical establishments were observed. Market research states that this can be attributed to the hesitancy of the individuals to visit the hospitals and clinics due to fear of contracting the virus. According to a report by CIHI, in April 2020, visits to emergency departments declined by almost 25,000 a day. This was half of the total volume that was witnessed in pre-covid times. The medical institutions also updated their patient prioritization. As they witnessed an increase in COVID-19 infected patients, they made sure that urgent surgeries and the most serious emergency department patients received urgent care. The growth in the acquisition of medical technologies during this period can also be studied through market research tools like Global Market Database. The cloud-based market research platform provides customized market information.


Market database also indicates that the number of screening assessments and full assessments related to different medical conditions also declined in 2020. According to CIHI, in April 2020, the number of screening assessments declined 25% compared to March. The same trend was observed for full assessments, which declined by 44% in April 2020 compared to March. As the economy started to journey towards normalcy, the number of screening assessments rebounded sharply in June 2020, almost at par with the March numbers.


Healthcare Ecosystem:

Market research tools state that governments of the respective provinces/territories have the primary responsibility for financing, organizing, and delivering health services to individuals. The federal government has the task to co-finance universal health insurance programs and administer a range of services according to market research performed via market intelligence tools. Market research also suggests that departments also have to regulate the safety and efficacy of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and natural health products. Health Canada is the federal ministry of health and plays a key regulatory role in food, drug, and medical safety. The public health agency of Canada is responsible for public health, emergency preparedness, and response towards epidemics or pandemics.


In 2017, the CIHI reported that healthcare spending was USD 242 billion, or 11.5% of Canada’s GDP for that year. Also, in 2019, Canada’s per capita spending on health expenditures ranked 11th among healthcare systems in OECD. Market research reports state that the federal government ensures compliance with its requirements that all Canadians have access to a hospital, physician, surgical, and dental services. Market intelligence reports suggest that, the taxes leveid are funding for these services

For example, Toronto’s hospital for sick children raised $1.3 billion through charitable channels to equip a new hospital.


A further focus is given towards Electronic Health Records (EHR) and access to relevant medical for research purposes according to market research tools. The establishment and access to EHR are the responsibility of respective province/territory governments. Greater support to these governments is provided by Canada Health Info Way.


Patient Experience:

Market research tools state that in a 2020 statistics Canada, Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPPS), 69% of the Canadians self-reported that they had excellent or very good physical health. According to the market database, roughly 62% of the patients said their overall hospital experience was very good. Market research states that the population in Canada has emphasized communication, convenience, and comfortability during a medical procedure. Advancements in technology and greater acceptance of digital solutions have strengthened the overall quality of medical treatments in Canada as per market research.


Market research suggests that several bottlenecks in the process need to be addressed for optimization. One such factor is the higher wait times associated with the medical treatments. In 2017, Canada was ranked above average on OECD indicators for wait times and access to care. Furthermore, in a report published by CIHI in 2019, approximately 30% of patients who required a joint replacement or cataract surgery, did not have their procedure done within the recommended wait times. The report also added that median wait times for prostate cancer surgery (41 days) and lung cancer surgery (24 days) have increased by 3 days since 2017. The change in life expectancy across Canada and its impact on the healthcare sector can also be studied through Global Market Database. The market research tool provides free market data across 600+ markets across 12 different industries.


Private Sector Contribution:

In 2018, private sector funding for healthcare accounted for 31% of the total health expenditures in Canada. Market research tools suggest that prescribed drugs and professional services were the top categories that constituted 66% of the spending. The private sector involvement in the healthcare module has augmented the quality of medical procedures. Increased research activities in partnership with public research bodies have contributed towards greater innovation. The market outlook for this region is expected to remain positive due to conducive private operations.


Quebec administers a universal drug plan by mandating eligible individuals to have private coverage and enroll those who are not eligible for the public plan. The respective government of the province/territory permitted private clinics.


The private sector has accelerated the adoption of next-generation technologies such as biosensors, IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Machine Learning (ML), Robot Process Automation, (RPA), 3D organ printing, and more.