Annual Return of Health Care Facilities - Hospitals

Detailed information for 1993-1994





Record number:


Note: Since the 1995-96 data year, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) assumed the responsibility for data collection, processing and for the production and custody of the clean data files. A clean analysis file is provided to Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada for data analysis.

This annual survey provides detailed statistics on finances, services and utilization of Canadian hospitals.

Data release - August 29, 1996


The survey of Health Care Facilities-Hospitals is a mandatory annual survey, included under the jurisdiction of the Statistics Act in 1918, encompassing all facilities in Canada licensed to operate as hospitals. These facilities are licensed by provincial ministries of health and federal government departments. The survey was made annual in 1932 and periodically reviewed at the request of Health Canada and the provinces to meet new requirements for administration, analysis, policy planning and decisions on new programs. Statistics Canada is responsible for designing the forms and for processing and disseminating the data and updating and maintaining the program.

The Annual Return of Health Care Facilities - Hospitals was discontinued after the 1993-94 cycle. Beginning with the 1995-96 data year, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) assumed responsibility for collecting data on Canadian hospitals through the Annual Hospital Survey.

All provinces co-operate in forwarding data to CIHI, which contain information on hospital utilisation and on operating and capital finances. Data are structured according to the Guidelines for Management Information Systems in Canadian Health Care Facilities (MIS Guidelines).

Reference period: Fiscal year


  • Health
  • Health care services

Data sources and methodology

Target population

All hospitals (approx. 1,250) institutions in Canada


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are extracted from administrative files.

Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario use their own reporting form. Hospitals in other provinces complete a 28-page document which is returned to Statistics Canada via the provincial ministries of health.

Forms are mailed to the provinces which in turn send them to the hospitals. This takes place in mid-March. By the end of June, the first complete reports are returned to Statistics Canada. It can take up to 24 months to receive all the data. Provinces have the option of returning the reporting forms to Statistics Canada or sending the data on magnetic tape.

Error detection

Processing errors are usually discovered and queried during the editing of the data.

Once captured, data undergo a series of extensive edits and queries are generated when values fall outside a specified range. Queries are handled by contacting the facility or provincial contact.


No attempt is made to adjust the data to account for hospitals not responding to the survey or for item non-response.

In order to indicate more precisely what the data represent, the number of hospitals reporting the particular variables being tabulated are incorporated into the tables.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

All financial data reported by public hospitals undergo a professional audit.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Occurrences of less than three in a table are suppressed. Information about individual hospitals is not released.

Data accuracy

Hospital data are used by other Statistics Canada divisions and government departments such as Input-Output Division, Labour Division and Health Canada. Many of these departments will use their own calculations to adjust for non-response so care should be taken if comparing their final output with reported data.

Private and federal hospitals are not required to report financial information on this survey. The only data available for these hospitals are on beds and hospital utilization.

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