OTTAWA, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - As Canadians head home for a holiday
weekend, a new Conference Board of Canada report offers a reminder that
healthy lifestyles have an impact on health care costs as well as on
The Conference Board of Canada's analysis of lifestyle factors among
provincial populations finds that there is significant room for
improvement in how Canadians take care of their own health. Its
analysis is part of a major report, Paving the Road to Higher Performance: Benchmarking Provincial Health
Systems, which will be released on Thursday, May 23.
"The provinces that rank higher in lifestyle factors also perform better
in overall health status. These findings highlight the importance of
health promotion and disease prevention programs to control demand for
health care services," said Gabriela Prada, Director, Health
Innovation, Policy and Evaluation.
"Our analysis is not meant to 'shame and blame' provinces that do
relatively poorly on any given indicator," said Prada. "Our intention
is to identify performance achievements and gaps so that all provinces
are better equipped to make decisions that will improve health care
systems and population health."
The findings released today are the second of four categories published
by The Conference Board of Canada in its benchmarking of provincial
health systems, produced under the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable
Health Care. In all, 90 indicators are assessed in the categories of
Lifestyle Factors, Health Status, Health Resources, and Health Care
British Columbia's outstanding results set a high bar for the rest of
Quebec gets an "A" grade on consumption of fruits and vegetables per
day, but higher smoking rates and a lower amount of physical activity
temper Quebec's overall grade.
Overall, when compared with the G8 countries, Canada has the
third-highest proportion of men considered heavy episodic drinkers.
The Lifestyle Factors category considers indicators that measure rates
of health-related behaviours, which include:
Overweight or obese adults
Fruit and vegetable consumption
B.C. earns by far the best grades among the provinces - obtaining "A"s
in all but one indicator. B.C.'s standout performance makes the average
score needed to attain an "A" grade very high for the other provinces
Ontario, Alberta and Quebec earn overall 'B' grades. Quebec achieves "A"
grades in two indicators - overweight or obese adults, and fruit and
vegetable consumption. Quebec obtains the only "A" among the provinces
in fruit and vegetable consumption, but its overall grade falls to a
"B" because of comparatively high smoking rates and a lower amount of
Newfoundland and Labrador receives a "D" grade overall and rates "D"s in
four of the five indicators. Prince Edward Island, which receives two
"B" and three "D" grades, also receives a "D" overall.
Almost all provinces show an increase in the proportion of Canadian
adults reported to be overweight or obese since 2003. The trend is
reversed when looking at daily smoking over the last few years. Canada
has been able to decrease its smoking rates, and it shows relatively
low rates of smoking compared with other OECD countries.
The Health Status segment was released on Thursday, May 16. The remaining segments to be
Health System Resources and Performance - Wednesday, May 22
Overall Grades - Thursday, May 23
To rank performance, The Conference Board of Canada's A-B-C-D report
card ranking methodology. Grade levels are assigned to the indicators
using the following method:
For each indicator, the difference between the top and bottom performer
is calculated and this figure is divided by 4.
A province receives a report card rating of "A" on a given indicator if
its score is in the top quartile, a "B" if its score is in the second
quartile, a "C" if its score is in the third quartile, and a "D" if its
score is in the bottom quartile.
This methodology helps to ensure that those regions awarded an "A" on a
given indicator perform substantially better than the range of
performances among the other regions.
The overall findings will be revealed at The Conference Board of
Canada's Western Summit on Sustainable Health, to be held May 22-23 at The Westin, Edmonton. This forum will provide
an opportunity for all health stakeholders from across the West to
connect, share ideas, and discuss how to transform the health care
system and improve the health of Canadians.
Launched in 2011, the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care is a five-year Conference Board program of research and dialogue. It
will delve deeply into facets of Canada's health care challenge,
including the financial, workplace, and institutional dimensions, in an
effort to develop forward-looking qualitative and quantitative analysis
and solutions to make the system more sustainable.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448