Number of doctors rising, as is payment for services - $22 billion last year
TORONTO — A new report says the number of doctors in Canada is at an all-time high and payment for their services has continued to rise.
The report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) says the overall price tag for doctors was $22 billion last year.
And CIHI says that growth is likely to continue because the number of medical school graduates has been rising every year since 2001.
The average payment per doctor was about $328,000 in 2011—2012 — a five per cent increase over 2010—2011.
Overall payments to physicians by provinces and territories rose by nine per cent in 2011—2012, surpassing the growth rate of six and eight per cent in the previous two years.
“Expenditures on physician services account for about 15 per cent of overall health spending, but physicians also directly influence how most health care is utilized,” said Geoff Ballinger, CIHI’s manager of physician information.
“Understanding the payments and activities of physicians helps us understand not only how much we pay for their services, but also how health care resources are allocated.”
The report also found that since 2008, the number of doctors working in rural areas has increased five times faster than the rural population. There were almost 6,400 physicians practising in rural areas last year.
“More doctors working in rural areas may be a sign that Canadians’ access to physician services in rural areas may be improving,” said Ballinger.
“Even so, it is important to ask not just how many doctors are needed but where they are most needed and in what areas of specialty.”