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Canada’s per capita spending on homecare and other outpatient and day program services falls below the international average. In general, countries that direct higher proportions of health spending to seniors care than Canada also spend more per capita on home care, outpatient care and day programs for seniors.

Overall, long term care in Canada appears to be slightly above average in terms of spending, number of beds relative to population size, and proportion of the population receiving care, but slightly below average in terms of investment on home and community care. While its total spending is above average, Canada doesn’t rank among the top countries on any of these factors. In fact, waitlists and shortages for institutional care beds are common, resulting in inefficient use of hospital resources.

By shifting more resources to community care, Canadian seniors can receive care that is more in line with their needs and wants, while making more efficient use of healthcare spending.

To learn more about our policy recommendations, please read “Ounce of Prevention, Pound of Cure: Seniors Care After COVID-19” by Rosalie Wyonch.