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.
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The total economic cost of injury in Canada was $29.4 billion, including $20.4 billion in direct health-care costs. This direct cost translates to an average of $56 million spent per day in the Canadian health-care system that has the potential to be allocated to other needs in the system.
Cost by outcome and intent
In 2018, the total cost per injury death was $397,883. The total cost per injury disability was $84,280. The total cost per hospitalization was $27,981 and per emergency department (ED) visit was $2,360. Inflicted injuries and injuries of undetermined intent had higher costs per outcome for deaths, hospitalizations and ED visits, while unintentional injuries had a higher cost per outcome for injury-related disabilities.
Cost by type of cost
The $6.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalized injuries in 2018 included $3.85 billion for hospital costs, $2.36 billion for medical costs and $0.2 billion for rehabilitation costs.
The direct cost of $10.8 billion for injuries seen in emergency departments in 2018 included $10.17 billion for medical costs and $0.58 billion for rehabilitation costs.
Percentage of cost by cost type
The direct cost of injury in 2018 was $20.4 billion or 70 per cent of the total economic cost of injury. The indirect cost was $8.9 billion, 30 per cent of the total cost.
Unintentional injuries accounted for 86 per cent of injury costs ($25.3 billion). Inflicted injuries accounted for a further 13 per cent ($3.9 billion) and injuries of undetermined intent for the remaining 1 per cent ($243 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 $19.2 billion (94 per cent of all direct costs). Indirect costs
for unintentional injuries totalled $6.1 billion (68 per cent of all indirect costs).
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