Although the fourth of July is approaching, us Canadians just celebrated a milestone of our own yesterday: Canada Day. We might not be as big as the US but we?re proud of being Canadian?yesterday downtown there was an impressive display of Canadian flag capes, flags sticking out of hats and cars, and the slightly more puzzling Canadian flag cowboy hats. In honour of our country's 146th birthday, I?ve been looking for ways to incorporate something Canadian into a medtech blogpost for the week. That's when I came across this gem from the Canadian Health Policy Institute, which has been making headlines lately.
 
In this study, they examined health care spending?and specifically medical device spending?per capita. Up here, we spent $4,714 per capita on health care, putting us in ninth position overall over the 2006 to 2011 period studied. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Switzerland and Norway beat the US in 2011, with our southern neighbours coming in third for per-capita spending that year. Although the US still earned the top spot for average spending between 2006 and 2011, this is perhaps still good news for the Obama administration because health care spending did not increase nearly as much in the 6 years studied compared to many other countries. In case you?re curious, the lowest per capita spending on this list (#66) goes to Bangladesh, spending just $18 per capita on health care on average.
 
In terms of medical device spending, Canada fell even lower, coming in at 14th, spending $160 per capita on average. Switzerland also took the top spot here, spending $375 per capita, with the US in 2nd at $318. As a percentage of health care spending, this is only about 3% of Canadian health care expenditures per capita, putting Canada in 56th over the 2006 to 2011 period. Switzerland and the US were slightly higher, with about 5% and 4% of health care spending going towards medical devices, respectively. Companies like Estonia, Belarus, and Malaysia earned the top spots, spending about 10 to 11% of health care expenditures on medical devices.
 
Overall, this study concluded that medical device spending can?t really be blamed for rising health care costs in Canada. As someone who works in the medical device market research field, this makes me happy for some reason.

To my fellow Canadians: I hope you all said ?eh? a couple of times, wore red and white, spelled words with a ?u?, drank Timmie's coffee, and ate poutine this weekend. Happy Canada Day 🙂

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