Health care has been one of the biggest challenges facing Canadians in recent years.
The cost of healthcare has increased by more than 40 per cent since the year 2000, according to a report released Thursday by the Conference Board of Canada.
In the first six months of 2017, the average Canadian household spent $1,800 on healthcare, up from $919 in 2000, while the average cost of a home in the country went up by more $9,400.
A report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) found that the average family in Canada spent $2,917 per person in 2017, compared to $1.28 for the average American household.
The report says there is also a growing divide between those who can afford to pay for their health care and those who are not.
The average cost for an individual to have a colonoscopy is $928, compared with $547 for an MRI, the report says.
The CCCA report said it is a “complex” market that can lead to the price of healthcare being “distorted.”
A large portion of the rising costs are being passed on to Canadians who cannot afford to keep up with medical costs.
The study said the average annual cost for a single Canadian family was $3,908 in 2017.
In 2017, that number increased to $4,858 for families of four.
Health care costs for individuals were also higher than those of families.
The median cost of health care was $2.1 million in 2017 compared to an average of $2 million for families with children.
The CCPA said it found that health care costs in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were the most expensive.
The government also reported that, compared from the previous year, average family income in the province of Ontario rose by 0.4 per cent to $55,959.
The figure is up from a 0.1 per cent increase in 2017 and a 0 of 1 decrease in 2016.
However, the rate of increase in the cost of prescription drugs was also lower.
“We find that Canadians are struggling to pay the bills for their family members, and yet the cost burden is going up,” said CCCP Executive Director Karen Finley.
“This is an example of why the government needs to start acting now to lower costs, not just to save money, but to give the people who are in the best position to afford health care the best quality care at the lowest possible cost.”