Comprehensive Analysis Finds Health Outcomes as Good or Better in Canada Despite Far Lower Health Spending



    TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - A comprehensive study by a team of 17 leading
Canadian and U.S. researchers finds that the quality of care in Canada is at
least as good as that in the U.S. The research, which appears in the inaugural
issue of the on-line journal Open Medicine that is being launched tomorrow, is
a rigorous statistical compendium of every direct real-life comparison of the
outcomes of U.S. and Canadian patients with identical illnesses ever
published.
    Dr. P.J. Devereaux of McMaster University and one of the lead authors of
the study said: "These results should be a wake up call to Canadians. We are
extraordinarily well served by a system based on public funding and
not-for-profit health care delivery. In general, we achieve high quality care
with great efficiency. Canadian-style universal health care can deliver as
good or better health outcomes at half the price of the U.S."
    For the systematic review, the researchers analyzed every study that met
two pre-specified criteria:

    
    1) A comparison of patients with identical diagnoses in Canada and the
       U.S.; and
    2) Clearly measured outcomes, such as death rate.
    

    The review included a comprehensive search, and careful protection
against bias. In particular, research staff blacked out the results of each of
498 studies considered for inclusion. Only then did a team of reviewers decide
which studies to include in the final analysis. Finally, the investigators
reviewed in detail the 38 studies fully meeting both inclusion criteria.
    Overall, 14 of the 38 studies showed better outcomes in Canada, while
only five favored the U.S. The remaining 19 studies showed equivalent or mixed
results in the two nations. Among the highest quality studies examined, five
favored Canada while only two favored the U.S. Better quality of care in
Canada was most striking for end stage renal disease patients.




For further information:

For further information: Lisa Robertson, (613) 739-7032

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