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).
The direct cost of injury in 2018 was $1,315 million, or 74 per cent, of the total economic cost of injury. The indirect cost was $474 million, or 26 per cent, of the total cost.
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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