Adjusting for inflation and population growth, the new CIHI numbers show per capita provincial and territorial government health expenditures have declined since their peak in 2010. From a high of $2,584 (1997 dollars), real provincial and territorial government health spending per capita has declined by 3.9 percent to reach an estimated $2,483.
Real per capita provincial government health spending has been declining in a manner not seen since the mid 1990s (see Figure 1). Between 1992 and 1996, real per capita provincial/territorial health spending fell by almost 8 percent. An interesting comparison is involves looking at the declines in real per capita government health spending across the two periods for the provinces. Figure 2 compares the percent decline for the period 1992 to 1996 to the period 2010 to 2014 (though one needs to be aware that the numbers for 2014 are a forecast).
For the period 1992 to 1996, the biggest percentage drops in real per capita provincial government health spending were in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Ontario. The drop in Alberta is particularly traumatic. Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island appear to have evaded the declines that characterized the other provinces. As for the current era of restraint, Nova Scotia and British Columbia appear to have escaped the declines that have characterized the remaining provinces. Quebec follows close behind with only a small drop in real per capita spending. Meanwhile, Alberta and Ontario are once again leading the pack in the drop in real per capita government health spending.