Our Health Care Today, Cdn Physicians Rate Our System

by Audrey Miller on March 26, 2013

in Elder Care

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Originally posted in allaboutestates.ca.

This past January 2013, the Health Council of Canada released results from the 2012 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey. Some of the results have been summarized below. For more complete information, read the full report.

The survey which included over 2000 primary care physicians across Canada and almost 10,000 physicians across other counties (USA, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the UK. Results found that even the best performing regions in Canada ranked below the top performing countries in most categories.

Some results: One in five Canadian primary care physicians (20%) feel the quality of care their patients receive has gotten worse. More doctors are using electronic medical records and doubled in use from 2006 (although ranked 2nd to last among the 10 countries).

1 in 4 doctors reported that their patients had difficulty paying for medication or other out of pocket expenses.Canada ranks around the mid-point of the 10 countries surveyed in terms of the proportion of patients who reportedly have difficulty paying for care, which ranged from 4% in Norway to 60% in the US.

Close to 50% of doctors in Canada said that most or almost all of their patients can get same day or next- day appointments. In three provinces, more than half of patients can easily get a same-day or next-day appointment with their primary care physicians (62% in British Columbia, 59% in Ontario, and 54% in Nova Scotia). In most other provinces, access to same-day or next-day appointments is close to the Canadian average (47%), except in Quebec (22%). Canada ranks last and well behind the other nine countries, with less than half of Canadians being able to get a same-day/next-day appointment for primary care. In most other countries, nearly two-thirds of patients or more have timely access to primary care.

An important issue for seniors is whether their doctors make house calls. Results found that “Overall in Canada, just over half of primary care physicians make home visits (58%). Seeing patients in their homes is much more common in four provinces: 70% of physicians in British Columbia make home visits, while about two-thirds of them do in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Internationally, Canadian primary care physicians are among the least likely to make home visits, whereas home visits are routine practice for physicians in France, the UK, Norway, and the Netherlands (96% to 100%), and they are quite common in all other countries except the US.”

So how do Canadian physicians rate our system? Survey says:
In emergency dept: = Needs help
Discharged: = Doing ok
In intensive care= Needs life supports

Using the above analogy, I think we are still waiting in the emergency department….

-Audrey Miller
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