Costs to the Health System and Society
The economic costs of injury include direct expenses to the health-care system. They also include indirect costs to society that result from lost productivity in the workforce.
The total economic cost of injury in Atlantic Canada was $1.8 billion, including $1.3 billion in direct health care costs. This direct cost translates to an average of $3.6 million spent per day in Atlantic Canada's health care systems that have the potential to be allocated to other needs.
In 2018, the total cost per injury death was $327,412. The total cost per injury disability was $69,260. The total cost per hospitalization was $31,729 and per emergency department (ED) visit was $2,294. Inflicted injuries and injuries of undetermined intent had higher costs per outcome for deaths, while unintentional injuries had a higher cost per outcome for injury-related hospitalizations, ED visits, and disabilities.
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The $467 million in direct costs for hospitalized injuries in 2018 included over $226 million for hospital costs, over $175 million for medical costs, about $15 million for rehabilitation costs, over $39 million for physician costs, and over $10 million for ambulance costs.
The direct cost of $627 million for injuries seen in emergency departments in 2018 included over $494 million for medical costs, over $36 million for rehabilitation costs, over $49 million for physician costs, and over $47 million for ambulance costs.
Unintentional injuries accounted for 86 per cent of total injury costs ($1,537 million). Inflicted injuries accounted for a further 13 per cent ($238 million) and injuries of undetermined intent for the remaining 1 per cent ($14 million).
Unintentional injuries still account for the vast majority of costs even when direct and indirect costs are examined separately. Direct costs for unintentional injuries amounted to $1,238 million (94 per cent of all direct costs). Indirect costs for unintentional injuries totaled $299 million (63 per cent of all indirect costs).
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