AVERAGE HOSPITAL STAY IN CANADA: $7,000
March 21, 2008
The average hospital stay in Canada costs nearly $7,000 per patient, and even more for patients who have an underlying health condition, according to a new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
The $7,000 is based on an average stay of seven days, and includes nursing costs, diagnostic testing and operating-room costs, but excludes such things as emergency care, day surgery and long-term care. Patients suffering from chronic illness were also excluded from the study.
The researchers examined 2.4 million recorded hospital stays in every province except Quebec. They found:
- Underlying conditions or complications account for almost 30 percent of the average cost of treating a patient who requires an overnight stay in hospital.
- In-patient care at hospitals accounts for 47 percent of hospital spending across the country.
- Out-patient care, such as at health clinics and cancer treatment programs, is responsible for 18 percent of the cost, according to the research.
Other major findings:
- Diseases of the circulatory system, such as heart attacks and strokes, cost the most to treat; the average cost for these patients is $11,260 per stay and accounted for 19 percent of total in-patient costs in 2004-2005.
- Injuries from external causes -- such as falls, accidents, and poisoning -- represent the second-largest expense for acute-care hospitals; the average estimated cost for a patient with an injury is $9,400.
- Diseases of the respiratory system, cancers, and diseases of the digestive system round out the top-five most expensive medical conditions in Canada; together, the conditions account for 58 per cent of the cost of in-patient hospital stays.
Source: Bal Brach, "Average Hospital Stay: $7,000," Windsor Star, March 20, 2008.
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