OTTAWA, Oct. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - A majority of Canadians surveyed by EKOS Research Associates are satisfied with their access to primary health care. But a minority of respondents are satisfied with services and treatments within the health care system, such as affordable prescription drugs, access to specialists, and availability of new diagnostic tests and treatment. And Canadians are not very satisfied with the availability of affordable home care.
These findings were released by The Conference Board of Canada today, in advance of its Summit on Sustainable Health and Health Care.
"More than half of Canadians said they would have access to the necessary health care services should they or a family member becomes sick," said Louis Theriault, Director, Health Economics. "Yet, only a minority of Canadians express satisfaction when it comes to specific services and procedures within the health care system. Needed reforms to the health care system design and management are consistent with the public perception."
Almost two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) said they would have the required access to care in the event of injury or illness. Furthermore, 60 per cent of respondents indicated that they are satisfied with their ability to see their primary care provider.
However, fewer than half (48 per cent) of respondents are satisfied with the availability of affordable prescription drugs. Only 37 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the availability of specialists, and just 35 per cent are satisfied with access to new diagnostic tests and treatments.
Given Canada's aging population, it is a matter of increasing concern that, when asked to assess the availability of affordable home care, only 18 per cent of respondents expressed satisfaction. The low satisfaction level corroborates Conference Board of Canada research, published the May 2012 report Home and Community Care in Canada: An Economic Footprint, that home care needs to play a larger role in the Canadian health system.
EKOS Research Associates conducted this study to update and refine the understanding of Canadian views on health and the health care system. The methodology involved a nationally representative survey of 2,047 Canadians 18 years of age and older - 519 were surveyed by telephone and 1,528 completed the survey online. The sample source for this study was members of the EKOS panel, which was specifically designed for online/telephone surveys, Results include a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 per cent 19 times out of 20. The survey took place in June 2012, and the findings will be released throughout October and November 2012.
The study was supported by the Canadian Medical Association, Accreditation Canada and the Conference Board's Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC). Launched in 2011, CASHC 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.
As part of the CASHC initiative, the Conference Board is hosting the Summit on Sustainable Health and Health Care in Toronto on October 30 and 31. The Summit will bring together Canada's health system leaders to discuss the latest research, learn from top Canadian experts, and explore solutions for Canada's greatest health challenges and opportunities.
SOURCE: CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448