Healthcare general

This Healthcare General page recommends the best of publicly available information on the overall healthcare ecosystem―including healthcare spending and hospital and doctor statistics.

This resource contains the following sections:

I. Healthcare Industry: Overview

II. Healthcare Spending

III. Healthcare Facilities and Resources

IV. Health Statistics


The Healthcare IT page of the Startup Library covers digital information technologies in the healthcare setting for system administrators and practitioners.
The Life sciences general page of the Startup Library lists resources that cover the major segments of the life sciences, such as pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies and medical devices.
The Consumer digital health page of the Startup Library links to resources on health trends and statistics that pertain to disease, injury and other health indicators for patients.

I. Healthcare Industry: Overview

This overview provides resources that will help you survey the landscape of the healthcare industry in Canada, the United States and around the world. The reports listed deliver useful summaries of key sub-segments within the sector, covering size, structure, leading companies and products, investment activities and emerging issues.


The following websites offer an overview of Canada’s publicly funded healthcare system, along with its history and an explanation of its various components:

Information on the relationship between the federal and provincial governments, which deliver healthcare, is available in the Canada Health Act Annual Report 2014-2015 published by Health Canada.

United States 

In the US, the healthcare system differs from the Canadian system in that most healthcare facilities and services are owned and operated by private-sector businesses. The following resources offer a look at how the US system works, including insurance options and the Affordable Care Act:


International Profiles of Health Care Systems (The Commonwealth Fund, 2015) (PDF): The Commonwealth Fund publishes an annual report comparing a number of healthcare systems around the world.

The World Health Statistics Report (World Health Organization): This annual report generated by the World Health Organization (WHO), presents the most recent health statistics for the WHO Member States. On its website, WHO makes available both current and past reports. The WHO also publishes other key health statistics for its member states, with country profiles, and country statistics.

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II. Healthcare Spending

Delivering healthcare is costly. The following resources are a good start to find out healthcare expenditure, broken down by type of expenditure.


National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX): Run by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the NHEX is the most up-to-date source on healthcare spending in Canada. It contains expenditure data from both public and private sources. The database shows spending by province and by type of expenditure (e.g., administration, capital, drugs, hospitals, physicians).

National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2015 (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2015) (PDF): In this report, the CIHI has aggregated the data from the NHEX database and published its findings.

United States

California HealthCare Almanac: Health Care Costs 101 (California HealthCare Foundation, 2016): This report presents national healthcare expense data in the US from 1964 to 2014.

FastStats (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]): In the US, the CDC publishes statistics on healthcare expenditures. In-depth statistics can be found on the CDC’s Health Expenditures page.

US Health Care Costs (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016): Published by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation on its website, this report is freely available online. It also connects readers to other excellent research sources.


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): The OECD is a valuable source of information on healthcare worldwide.

Cost of common procedures

Healthcare Blue Book: The Healthcare Blue Book is a guide designed to help US consumers determine a fair price (in their local area) for healthcare services such as surgery, hospital stays and medical tests. The guide is available free of charge.

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III. Healthcare Facilities and Resources

Number of hospitals, beds, and utilization data is available in the following resources.


Canadian Industry Statistics – Establishments Hospitals (Industry Canada): On its website, Industry Canada provides data on the estimated number of establishment hospitals in Canada, as well as their size, employment type and region.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: Offers data on the number and types of hospitals in the province, as well as a listing of them.
For more information on healthcare facilities, labs and prototyping centres, please visit our Startup Library page,

Research and development (R&D) in Ontario overview II. Research labs and prototyping facilities.

United States

American Hospital Association (AHA): The AHA conducts an annual survey of hospitals in the US. It reports the latest figures on its website.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC also publishes statistics on hospital utilization in the US.

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IV. Health Statistics

The OECD’s report, Health at a Glance (2015), provides global data on many health indicators, including life expectancy, health status, births and deaths, prevalence of common disease indications, healthcare worker statistics (e.g., numbers of doctors and nurses), number of common procedures, access to care and wait times, and health expenditure data.


Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES): As an independent, non-profit organization, ICES conducts research to help inform policy-makers, planners, practitioners and other stakeholders as they work to advance Ontario’s healthcare system. This includes publishing information relevant to healthcare entrepreneurs on a broad range of topics, including population health, health system performance and chronic diseases.

Check out its publications, including A $4.9 Billion Decrease in Health Care Expenditure: The Ten-Year Impact of Improving Smoking, Alcohol, Diet and Physical Activity in Ontario (2016).

Wellbeing Toronto (City of Toronto): Wellbeing Toronto is a map-based measurement and visualization tool that gives users insight into the well-being of 140 different neighbourhoods across Toronto. This tool supports decision-making and seeks to engage citizens and businesses in understanding the challenges and opportunities of creating and maintaining healthy neighbourhoods.


Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI): CIHI collects, analyzes and publishes data and information so that stakeholders can make decisions that support and advance the health of Canadians. As part of its Health Indicators ePublication, CIHI utilizes the Health Indicators Interactive Tool to support decision-making and planning at the regional level.

Primary Health Care in Canada – A Chartbook of Selected Indicator Results (CIHI, 2016): Based on the 2012 Pan-Canadian Primary Health Care Indicator Update Report, this report profiles the results of 16 primary health care (PHC) indicators, providing an integrated view of PHC information in Canada.

Health Indicators: This series of annual reports contains a compilation of selected indicators that measure the following:

  • Health status
  • Non-medical determinants of health
  • Health system performance
  • Community and health system characteristics

Public Health Agency of Canada: This is the main federal agency responsible for public health in Canada. As part of its mandate, the agency conducts surveillance and publishes reports on infectious diseases, chronic diseases and health conditions.

Statistics Canada: Health: Statistics Canada’s health data covers a wide range of areas, including:

  • Population health
  • Lifestyle and environmental factors that affect health
  • Access to and the use of healthcare services
  • Research into various health topics

Key publications from Statistics Canada include:

  • Health Fact Sheets: These short informative articles cover diverse health topics, drawing from various health data sources.
  • Healthy people, healthy places: This report examines the health of Canadians by focusing on demography, health status, health behaviours and the environment.
  • Health Reports: This monthly journal publishes population health and health services research.
  • Mental health and well-being: Statistics Canada also collects information on mental well-being, including self-esteem, stress, depression and mental disorders.

United States

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC is the United States’ public health agency, whose mandate includes creating the expertise, collecting the information and building the tools that people and communities need to maintain their health.

The CDC offers many publications as well as data and statistics organized by topic. Further resources and key publications include:

HCUPnet (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality): Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HCUPnet is a query-based system that leverages database and software tools to freely deliver health statistics from across the US. Its data is collected via the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). It provides access to information on hospital utilization, access, charges, quality and outcomes. is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, the US government’s principal agency for protecting the health of Americans. This site is dedicated to making health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers and policy-makers in the hopes of better health outcomes.

HealthIT.Gov: This site is a robust resource for those who develop and implement health policy. It offers insightful research around use cases and needs, such as its Report on the Feasibility of Mechanisms to Assist Providers in Comparing and Selecting Certified EHR Technology Products (2016) (PDF).


The Commonwealth Fund: A private foundation, The Commonwealth Fund’s mandate is to strengthen the healthcare system through better access, improved quality and greater efficiency. It supports independent research, provides grants and runs a program to develop innovative health policy in the US and internationally. Key reports include:

World Health Organization (WHO): WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. Check out the various health topics they cover:

  • WHO Global Health Observatory: This data repository provides access to over 50 datasets on priority health topics, including:
    • Mortality and the burden of diseases
    • Non-communicable diseases and risk factors
    • Epidemic-prone diseases
    • Health systems
    • Environmental health
    • Violence and injuries
  •  World Health Statistics (2016):  This is the WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States.
  • WHO World Cancer Report 2014 (PDF): This report provides a global view of cancer, including cancer patterns, causes, and prevention.

Specific diseases or health conditions: Key reports

The following reports present Canadian statistics for specific diseases or health conditions.

Canadian Cancer Statistics (Canadian Cancer Society): This annual publication provides detailed information on incidence, mortality and other measures of the burden of cancer for the most common types of cancer by age, gender, year and province or territory.

Diabetes in Canada: Facts and figures from a public health perspective (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2011): This report provides diabetes statistics in Canada, including statistics on risk factors for developing diabetes and its complications. It presents rates of the disease by age group, gender and province as well as the impact of diabetes on individuals and their related needs from the healthcare system.

Mental Illness and Addictions: Facts and Statistics (camh, 2016): On its website, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health provides the most recent statistics relating to mental illness and addiction.

Injury Reports (Public Health Agency of Canada): The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) is a computerized information system that collects and analyzes data on injuries to people (mainly children) who are seen at the emergency rooms of a sample of general and pediatric hospitals in Canada.

The Cost of Injury in Canada (Parachute, 2015): This report examines injury statistics in Canada and quantifies the cost of injury to Canadian children, families, and the healthcare system.

Surveillance (Public Health Agency of Canada): These resources produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada provide data related to infectious diseases and health conditions.

Tracking Heart Disease and Stroke in Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2011): This is an annual compilation of statistics relating to heart disease and stroke.

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