Manitoba’s healthcare spending per person to be third lowest in the country: CIHI

A healthcare data institute is projecting Manitoba’s healthcare spending per person to be the third lowest in the country.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) projects Manitoba will spend more than $11.7 billion on healthcare this year. CIHI Health Expenditures Manager Chris Kuchciak says Manitoba’s spending per person is slightly lower than the average in Canada of $8,563.

“When we look at trends, what we actually see in 2022 is a levelling off of spending growth,” Kuchciak said.

Manitoba is projected to spend $8,414 per person, an increase of 0.1 per cent. New Brunswick ($8,010) and Ontario ($8,213) are the only other provinces expected to spend less per person.

Kuchciak says that growth is relative, considering healthcare spending spiked in Canada in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. He says Manitoba’s spending growth this year was 0.1 per cent.

CIHI says half of Manitoba’s spending was made up of hospital, physicians, and drug expenditures.

It says it is keeping an eye on the economy, saying when it worsens healthcare spending reductions often accompany it.

Thomas Linner, the executive director of the Manitoba Health Coalition, says Manitobans are expressing their concerns to them about the quality of senior care, if they can get care at hospitals, and the system’s overall capacity.

“We are facing a staffing crisis in our hospitals,” Linner said. “You look at some of those costs, and what CIHI was saying, was that we are moving on to things like surgical and diagnostic backlogs.”

Linner says he wants to see spending increased, and that increase to match inflation.

A provincial spokesperson says this data does not include an announcement still to come.

“The numbers laid out in the CIHI report are simply a projection, and a projection that our government looks forward to changing by year end including the announcement of our Health Human Resource Action Plan in the coming weeks,” a provincial spokesperson said in a statement to CTV News. 

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