Patterns of our Footsteps - Spending more on drugs but feeling no different

August 29th, 2012

The line graph in the figure below shows that Canadians’ personal expenditure on pharmaceuticals, hospital fees, and health services has almost doubled in the last two decades. However, as can be seen with the area graphs, the percentages of Canadians that considered themselves healthy have remain unchanged. We must then ask, what drives this increase in spending? What have we been paying for?

Last week, the Good Society blog addressed the issue of how our medical system focuses on treatment but constantly ignores prevention. Rather than waiting for people to become infirm, we need to incorporate the knowledge and research done on what promotes healthy communities and healthy people into our medical system and community development plans. As Kathy Bardswick notes in our most recent HEAD Talks video release, we need to go back to the “why”, or the reasons our systems were created in the first place, rather than simply waiting for and (then) tackling problems as they arise.


Data retrieved from Statistics Canada.

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