The financial statement in Quebec for the pandemic
It costs about $40,000 per patient in intensive care, according to calculations by the Quebec Ministry of Health based on Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) rates.
The patient pays nothing. In Quebec, we have chosen to have universal health insurance. The patient pays nothing for his or her hospital stay; the health insurance plan pays the bill.
Patients have nothing to pay financially, but this has a cost on the health system, which taxpayers finance.
Since the pandemic’s beginning, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the ICU have cost $42,167 per stay. They stay in ICU for 9.2 days. Each day in intensive care thus costs the health system $4583, according to RAMQ rates.
Counting all hospitalizations (both intensive care and regular beds) since the beginning of the pandemic, a COVID-19 patient in hospital costs an average of $22,759 per stay, according to the Ministry of Health. The average stay is 16.7 days, so the system costs $1363 per day. These figures include all costs to the system, except for doctors’ salaries and diagnostic and therapeutic services.
For your information, $22,759 is what a taxpayer earning $126,000 paid in provincial taxes in 2021.
For $42,167, the cost of a COVID-19 stay in intensive care, that’s the bill for a taxpayer earning just over $200,000 a year.
How can we avoid going to the hospital because of COVID-19? By adopting health practices that reduce our risk of catching COVID-19 (e.g., masks in crowded indoor public places, good indoor ventilation, meeting outdoors). And by getting vaccinated. A third dose provides 90% protection against the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19. According to Public Health UK, this protection decreases to 70% after six months.
Vaccination protects you from developing COVID-19 severe enough to send you to hospital. And it can save the health system a lot of money.