Dataset National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX)

National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX) 
Data Provider (source):

Canadian Institute for Health Information


The National Health Expenditure Database (NHEX) has been collecting, processing and analyzing summary data on all health spending in Canada since 1975. Health expenditures for the most recent two years are also forecast. Information from NHEX is used to facilitate provincial/territorial, national and international comparative reporting. NHEX information also supports policy planning, decision-making and research. You can find out more about health spending, including reports and analyses based on NHEX data here:

NHEX data is extracted manually from diverse documents that are publicly available. These include

  • National and provincial/territorial public accounts
  • Other financial reports, private insurance companies and the firm AC Nielsen Canada
  • Statistics Canada documents

NHEX contains data on health spending in Canada by spending category and source of funding. Further details on public and private sources of the data are listed in the Data coverage section of the website.  

National health expenditures in Canada are based on a system of classification consistent with international standards developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD standards are used for reporting health expenditures. For more information on the OECD (Canadian segment), refer to OECD.

To facilitate comparative reporting and support policy planning, decision-making and research.  
Type of Data (select all that apply):
Health Care and Health Services 
Data Collection Method (select all that apply):
Administrative Data, Census 
Identifiers used for linkage:
Postal Code 
Access requiredments and conditions for Researchers and Projects:

Data Access Conditions:

  • In addition to the CIHI data access condition below, requests for Quebec data are subject to review and authorization from the Quebec Privacy Commission (Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec) and the Québec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS).
  • CIHI discloses health information and analyses on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians in a manner consistent with its mandate and core functions. These disclosures typically fall into one of four categories:
    • Disclosures to parties with responsibility for the planning and management of the health care system to enable them to fulfill those functions;
    • Disclosures to parties with a decision-making role regarding health care system policy to facilitate their work;
    • Disclosures to parties with responsibility for population health research and/or analysis; and
    • Disclosures to third-party data requesters to facilitate health or health services research and/or analysis.
  • Prior to disclosure, CIHI reviews the requests to ensure that the disclosures are consistent with the above and meet the requirements of applicable legislation.
  • CIHI data disclosures are made at the highest degree of anonymity possible while still meeting the research and/or analytical purposes. This means that, whenever possible, data are aggregated.
  • Where aggregate data are not sufficiently detailed for the research and/or analytical purposes, data that have been de-identified using various de-identification processes may be disclosed to the recipient on a case-by-case basis and where the recipient has entered into a data protection agreement or other legally binding instrument with CIHI.
  • Only those data elements necessary to meet the identified research or analytical purposes may be disclosed.
  • For more information, please reference CIHI’s Privacy Policy:

Requirements for record-level data access:

  • Prior to disclosure, the recipient must sign a data protection agreement or other legally binding instrument that, at a minimum, contains the following requirements:
    • Prohibits re-identifying or contacting the individuals;
    • Prohibits linking the de-identified data unless expressly authorized in writing by CIHI;
    • Limits the purposes for which the de-identified data may be used;
    • Requires that the de-identified data be safeguarded;
    • Limits publication or disclosure to data that do not allow identification of any individual;
    • Requires the destruction of data, as specified;
    • Permits CIHI to conduct on-site privacy audits pursuant to its privacy audit program; and
    • Requires the recipient to comply with any other provision that CIHI deems necessary to further safeguard the data.
  • Prior to the disclosure of de-identified data for research purposes, the requester will provide CIHI with evidence of Research Ethics Board approval.
  • CIHI reserves the right to impose any other requirement(s) as needed on a case-by-case basis in order to maintain the confidentiality of de-identified data.
  • Prior to disclosure, program areas will evaluate the de-identified data to assess and subsequently minimize privacy risks of re-identification and residual disclosure, and to implement the necessary mitigating measures to manage residual risks.
  • CIHI will not disclose de-identified data if it is reasonably foreseeable in the circumstances that it could be utilized, either alone or with other information, to identify an individual and that, where it is reasonably foreseeable that it could be used to identify an individual, the information will be treated as personal health information.

Access process:  All data access requests can be initiated at the following CIHI webpage:, and complete an Access Data Inquiry Form.

Phone: 1-613-241-5543 Email: 

The up-to-date comprehensive data tables are available to download free of charge on the NHEX web page



Data is available from:
From 1975.  
More Information (including references):

The database contains expenditure data by province/territory on more than 40 categories from:

  • Federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as workers’ compensation boards
  • Other social security funds
  • Private insurance and market research companies

Information on NHEX data elements can be found in the methodology notes. NHEX data quality documentation is also available.

[2019-02-11 15:25] Sarah Kesselring: Edited by Sarah Kesselring (skesselring) [2019-03-13 11:41] Sarah Kesselring: Edited by Sarah Kesselring (skesselring)