We Canadians like to think we lead the world when it comes to health care. The facts, however, tell a different story. Take our hospitals: Despite hospital spending accounting for 28.3% of total health care expenditures, Canadian hospitals still do not rank highly in the world.
In fact, when compared to 25 other countries using patient surveys, key performance indicators, and recommendations from medical experts, only six Canadian hospitals make the list of the top 200, and only four make the top 100. This is on par with 2020, when four hospitals made the top 100, but down from 2019, when nine hospitals were on that list.
Since Canada had 1,265 hospitals in 2019, this means that even then, only 0.7% made the top 100 list. In 2021, this fell to 0.3%. As a small country, it would be surprising if dozens of Canada’s hospitals were among the 100 best, but just four is, shall we say, underwhelming. It’s obvious, then, that we need a robust conversation around ways to increase the quality and efficiency of our hospitals. At the very least, we need a discussion of why health care and hospital spending keeps going up, but quality is going down, at least as measured by this annual ranking.