Health regions and peer groups

"Health region" refers to administrative areas defined by the provincial ministries of health. For complete Canadian coverage, each of the northern territories also represents a health region.

See Table 6 Health regions in Canada - by province and territory
See Map 14 Health Regions and Peer Groups in Canada, 2014

Health region boundary changes

  • As of April 1, 2015, Nova Scotia has one Provincial Health Authority, with four management zones.  These management zones are an aggregation of the nine former health authorities:
    • South Shore (1211), South West Nova (1212), and Annapolis Valley (1223) merged to form Zone 1 - Western (1201);
    • Colchester East Hants (1234), Cumberland (1235), and Pictou County (1246) merged to form Zone 2 - Northern (1202);
    • Guysborough Antigonish Strait (1247) and Cape Breton (1258) merged to form Zone 3 - Eastern (1203);
    • Capital (1269) forms Zone 4 - Central (1204). In addition, there is a small shift of Dissemination Areas 12080119 and 12080120 which will be associated with Zone 4 - Central.
  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, there was a reassignment of three communities (Castor River North, Castor River South, and Bartlett’s Harbour) from Labrador-Grenfell Regional Integrated Health Authority to Western Regional Integrated Health Authority.

The boundaries, health region codes and health region names in the remaining provinces and territories have not changed.

See the following tables for history of changes since 2000:

Health region peer groups

In order to effectively compare health regions with similar socio–economic characteristics, health regions have been grouped into 'peer groups'. Statistics Canada used a statistical method to achieve maximum statistical differentiation between health regions. Twenty–four variables were chosen to cover as many of the social and economic determinants of health as possible, using data collected at the health region level mostly from the Census of Canada. Concepts covered include:

  • basic demographics (for example, population change and demographic structure),
  • living conditions (for example, socio-economic characteristics, housing, and income inequality), and
  • working conditions (for example, labour market conditions).

Peer groups based on 2014 health region boundaries and 2011 Census of Population and 2011 National Household Survey data are now available. There are currently nine peer groups identified by letters A through I.

See Table 8 Health regions 2014 by peer group
See Table 9 Summary table of peer groups and principal characteristics

A more detailed discussion on the rationale and methods involved in the development of peer groups is available in Health Region (2014) Peer Groups – User guide.

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