Health Spending in 2020

Total Health Spending as a Proportion of Gross Domestic Product

In 2020,  New Brunswick, health spending represented 16% of the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is the total value of all goods and services produced within one year in a specific region (e.g., New Brunswick) and is used to measure the size of the region’s economy.

The portion of New Brunswick’s GDP being spent on health was higher than the Canadian average (13.8%). As GDP is influenced by the current economy, the actual amount being spent can vary from one year to another while the portion of GDP used stays the same.


Total Health Spending per capita

In 2020, New Brunswick spent $7,683 per person (per capita) on health.

Compared to the Canadian average of $8,021, New Brunswick was ranked second lowest in the country for health spending.



Over the years, health spending has been increasing both in New Brunswick and in Canada.

However, health spending in New Brunswick has been increasing at a slower pace than the national average. In New Brunswick, health spending increased by 28.8% since 2010, compared to 41.4% in Canada over the same time period. 


Public Sector Spending

In 2020, New Brunswick had the lowest public sector per capita health spending ($5,513) in Canada.

Provincial government funding made up the biggest portion of public sector health spending ($4,667 per capita), followed by federal government spending ($779 per capita). 


How has that changed over time?

Before 2016, New Brunswick had a higher provincial sector per capita health spending than the Canadian average.

Since 2016, New Brunswick's provincial sector per capita health spending has been increasing at a slower pace. In 2020, New Brunswick spent less than the Canadian average:


Private Sector Spending

Private sector spending is spending that is paid directly by the patients and/or by their private health insurance for health services such as medications, physiotherapy, dentistry, counseling, etc.

In 2020, private sector per capita health spending in New Brunswick was among the highest in Canada, at $2,170, compared to the national average of $2,082.

At $815, New Brunswick spending on medications made up the largest percentage of private spending at 37.5%, which was higher than the Canadian average of 32.3% ($672).


Areas of Health Spending

How is health spending being used?


The table below shows what New Brunswick spent on in 2020:

  • Hospitals, medications and physicians were in the top 3 areas of health spending in New Brunswick. 
  • In Canada, on average, the top three were hospitals, medications and “other institutions”. 



The second table compares what was being spent by provinces in comparison with New Brunswick. Key observations include:

  • The amounts New Brunswick spent on hospitals and medications were among the highest in Canada.
  • New Brunswick’s spending on physicians and other professionals was among the lowest in Canada.


For more information on types of spending please consult CIHI's website:  National Health Expenditure Trends, 2021 - Methodology Notes (