Although Canada’s medical care system is largely publicly funded, the provision of services is mostly private. In many respects, private physicians’ offices represent the front lines of care for Canada’s health care system. Most Canadians access regular health care primarily through their family physicians.
Physicians’ offices contribute many economic benefits to the communities in which they practise. With new multi-disciplinary delivery models and an increase in the number of physicians’ offices, this economic footprint has expanded. In 2019, physicians’ offices directly provided 167,000 jobs to Canadians—of which nearly 110,000 were for non-physician health care professionals and staff. They also contributed $39.5 billion to Canada’s GDP. While the economic contributions associated with physicians’ offices still appear poised for future growth, the economic benefits generated are themselves vulnerable—not only to changes in public policy, but also to broader economic challenges such as COVID-19.
This report provides an assessment of the economic footprint of physicians’ offices in Canada.