£810 / $1295 / €985
Canada is geographically one of the world’s largest countries, but has a population of just 34.4 million. The population is unevenly spread, 90% of Canadians live near the US border. The economy is highly developed, GDP per capita is on a par with the US.
Imports and exports have recovered since their dip in 2009. The latest medical trade data to December 2011 showed imports up on the previous 12 months up (+10.8%) to US$5.1 billion. Consumables, the largest sector increased faster (11.4%) to US$949.9 million. Exports for the same period were valued at US$1.7 billion, an 5.0% increase.
Despite the worldwide recession, medical devices are continuing to grow and the industry believes Canada is in a good position to expand its medical device business. Further R&D funding is key to developing new products as the Canadian government still lags behind the US in this respect.
In 2011, the Canadian Medical market is estimated at US$6.2 billion which, considering the size of the population, makes it one of the world’s richest medical markets. Much of the market is supplied by imports, largely from the USA.
The Canadian economy is predicted to grow at around 2% for the next five years, and has been less affected by the global economic crisis. Canada has a more stable and regulated banking sector. Consequently, Canada is the only one of the seven major industrialised nations expected to return to having a surplus in its economy by 2015 according to the IMF.
Canadian patients have suffered from longer waiting times for treatment. The problem is exacerbated by the widespread ban on private health insurance in public facilities. From 2009 C$250 million has been made available annually through a Wait Times Reduction Transfer to address this.
In contrast to the USA, Canada’s healthcare system is based on public funding and provision, as in the UK. Expenditure is generally high although inefficiencies remain. Health provision is the responsibility of provincial governments, which often have widely differing targets and priorities.
There is very little private involvement in the hospital sector. Private expenditure tends to concentrate on non-physician specialist services and pharmaceuticals. Around 38% of medical device domestic producers operate in the hospital supplies & equipment sector.
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