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Health Care Is Good Medicine For Canada's Economy

OTTAWA, Jan. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Health care is a large and essentially recession-proof part of Canada's economy, creating more than 10 per cent of the country's total gross domestic product (GDP) annually and supporting more than two million jobs, according to a Conference Board of Canada analysis for its Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care .


HIGHLIGHTS
  • At over 10 per cent of GDP, the health care industry in Canada is almost the same size as the entire manufacturing sector.
  • Governments get more than 21 per cent of all health spending back in the form of tax revenues.
  • Overall wages in the health care sector are $59,300 per job, slightly higher than the national average of $57,677.


"The Canadian health care sector is a major source of spending for governments. Yet it is also an important driver of economic growth—a perspective often overlooked. The health care sector contributes to Canada's wealth by improving health outcomes and creating jobs," said Fares Bounajm, Economist, Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care, and author of The Economic Footprint of Health Care Delivery in Canada.

"It should be considered both as an integral part of the Canadian economy and as a sector that can help to drive economic growth, improve Canada's productivity performance and generate additional wealth for Canadians."

About 1.6 million Canadians are directly employed in the health care sector, representing about nine per cent of the total jobs in Canada. These physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, technicians and support staff pay taxes and purchase goods and services from all sectors of the economy.

An additional 500,000 jobs are indirectly supported by health care spending. These are jobs in the various firms that are part of the supply chain for the health care sector, spanning a large number of industries including retail, communications, wholesale and banking.

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