'Not worth the risk': New report breaks down high cost of COVID-19 hospitalizations

A new report shows a hospital stay due to a COVID-19 infection can come with a big price tag.

The report from Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows an average hospital stay due to COVID-19 cost $23,000, and ICU stays were more than double that.

A total of 1,077 people needed hospital treatment due to COVID-19 in Waterloo Region so far. Using the CIHI figures, that means the estimated cost to taxpayers was roughly $25 million.

Tom Langen spent seven weeks in the ICU battling the disease.

"I was taken into hospital and I was put into ICU straight away," Langen said.

Ann Chapman with the CIHI said the cost of caring for a patient with COVID-19 is about three times that of a heart attack and also three times the cost of pneumonia patients.

"You need a lot of resources and health-care workers, supplies, to keep you healthy and help you survive this virus," Chapman said.

Langan said he's grateful he beat the disease and isn't faced with a large medical bill.

"I'm just very thankful that I woke up and everything was covered," he said.

He added the pandemic's toll on families is a concern.

"It's not worth the risk," he said.