Expenditures on mental health and addictions for Canadian provinces in 2003/04

Philip Jacobs, Rita Yim, Arto Ohinmaa, Ken Eng, Carolyn S Dewa, Roger Bland, Ray Block, Mel Slomp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To measure total public and private expenditures on mental health in each province. Method: Data for expenditures on mental health services were collected in the following categories: physician expenditures (general and psychiatrist fees for service and alternative funding), inpatient hospital (psychiatric and general), outpatient hospital, community mental health, pharmaceuticals, and substance abuse. Data for 2003/04 were collected from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (hospital inpatient and fees for service physicians), the individual provinces (pharmaceuticals, alternative physician payments, hospital outpatient, and community), and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Totals were expressed in terms of per capita and as a percentage of total provincial health spending. Results: Total spending on mental health was $6.6 billion, of which $5.5 billion was from public sources. Nationally, the largest portion of expenditures was for hospitals, followed by community mental health expenses and pharmaceuticals. This varied by province. Public mental health spending was 6% of total public spending on health, while total mental health spending was 5% of total health spending. Conclusions: Canadian public mental health spending is lower than most developed countries, and a little below the minimum acceptable amount (5%) stated by the European Mental Health Economics Network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Costs
  • Expenditures
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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