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A new deal will see expensive treatment for infants diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy covered by provincial and territorial health plans. (spotmatik/shutterstock.com)

A recent comparison of universal health care systems has Canada trailing the majority of developed countries in, despite the fact the country spends considerably more on health care than its contemporaries.

According to the Fraser Institute's Comparing Performance of Universal Health Care Countries, 2019, Canada was a bottom-dweller in several key categories including number of doctors and number of hospital beds relative to the population.

The Fraser Institute compared 28 universal health care systems in developed countries and focused on cost, access to care, and availability and use of resources.

The study placed Canada:

  • 26th out of 28 ranked countries in number of doctors (2.8 per 1,000 people)
  • 26th out of 27 ranked countries in number of hospital beds (2.0 per 1,000 people)
  • 21st out of 27 ranked countries in number of CT scanners (15.9 per 1,000,000 people)
  • 21st out of 26 ranked countries in number of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines (10.4 per 1,000,000 people)
  • 10th out of 10 ranked countries in percentage of patients two months or longer to see a specialist (30 per cent)
  • 10th out of 10 ranked countries in percentage of patients four months or longer for elective surgery (18 per cent)
  • 2nd in health care spending as a share of GDP, adjusting for population age (11.1 per cent), trailing only Sweden

"Canada’s health-care system remains one of the most expensive in the world yet struggles with a comparative dearth of medical resources and comparatively long wait times," said Bacchus Barua, the Fraser Institute's associate director of health policy studies and a co-author of the study, in a statement released Thursday.

To view the full report, visit Comparing Performance of Universe Health Care Countries, 2019