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Friday, November 19, 2010

How Do Canadians Rate the Health Care System?

Christine Pierroz, Director, Communications, Health Council of Canada

Today the Health Council of Canada presents you with a revealing bulletin, How Do Canadians Rate the Health Care System?, based on survey results from the 2010 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey.

Canadians feel strongly about their health care system, but they recognize the need for improvement. The bulletin shows that of all the countries surveyed, Canadians have the greatest difficulty when it comes to access to care in the evenings, weekends, and on holidays – anywhere other than the emergency room. Other areas where Canada did not fare well, compared to international counterparts, were around timely access to medical appointments and coordination of care. In contrast, Canadians are very satisfied with the quality of medical care that they receive and are confident that they could have access to the most effective treatment should they become seriously ill.

This bulletin follows yesterday’s release in New York of the Commonwealth Fund’s own analysis of this 11-country survey. The focus there was on the US, a survey participant whose performance yielded statements such as “US adults most likely to forego care due to cost, have trouble paying medical bills; US stands our for highest out-of-pocket costs and most complex health insurance.”

In Canada, we stand to learn from survey results in some of the highest performing countries around questions of interest to us – countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Perhaps you have had some experiences with these systems you would like to share. We look forward to your insights.

1 comment:

  1. he term “health system” encompasses the personnel, institutions, commodities, information, financing and governance strategies that support the delivery of prevention and treatment services. The main objectives of a health system are to respond to people’s needs and expectations by providing services in a fair and equitable manner.1

    The World Health Organization defines a health system as “all the activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore, or maintain health.”2, 3 The World Bank defines health systems more broadly to include factors interrelated to health, such as poverty, education, infrastructure and the broader social and political environment.4