Results from the 2010 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, released by the Health Council of Canada, show that although Canadians’ view of the health care system in general has improved over time, there is widespread recognition of the need for key system improvements.
The new report, which explores citizens’ views of health care systems throughout the world, shows that of all the surveyed countries, Canada performs the worst in the area of access to care after hours outside an emergency room. A reported 37 percent of Canadians say that it is very difficult to get care in the evenings, on weekends or during holidays without going to the emergency department. In the last two years, almost half of Canadians who went to an emergency department have a regular doctor and reported that they could have been treated by their regular care provider had he or she been available.
In the area of timeliness, only 45 percent of Canadians (international average 65 percent) report that they are able to get an appointment on the same or the next day when they are sick or in need of medical attention. In this measure, Canada ranked the worst out of the 11 countries surveyed. Canadians also feel that their time is often wasted because of care that is poorly organized or coordinated.
See “How Do Canadians Rate the Health Care System?: Results from the 2010 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey,” Health Council of Canada, Canadian Health Care Matters Bulletin 4, November 2010, available at healthcouncilcanada.ca.