Health Council of Canada bulletin on "Sicker" Canadians online now

TORONTO, Nov. 10 /CNW/ - The vast majority of Canadians who are already in poor health say the quality of the care they personally receive is good to excellent, but more than half feel that fundamental changes are needed to improve our health care system, according to a Canadian Health Care Matters bulletin released by the Health Council of Canada.

Safer Health Care for "Sicker" Canadians: International Comparisons of Health Care Quality and Safety, which draws on an analysis of the 2008 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Sicker Adults, also found, however, that Canadian patients who experienced safety problems gave significantly lower ratings to the quality of their care.

The survey results suggest that fundamental changes to the health care system would need to include effective policies around patient safety and specific strategies to reduce errors, both in hospital and community care settings.

"The results open a window into the relationship between patient safety, quality of care, and the intensive use of health care services," said John G. Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada. "And focusing on preventing errors is a critical part of making our health care system more sustainable."

The 2008 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Sicker Adults asked 9,632 adults in poor health in eight countries about the health care they had received.

"The ability to compare between nations helps to highlight where Canada can learn from others, and vice-versa," said Abbott.

The Health Council of Canada co-sponsored the Canadian portion of the survey along with the Ontario Health Quality Council and the Quebec Health and Welfare Commissioner (Commissaire à la santé et au bien-être du Québec). The combined funding enabled the Health Council of Canada to ask additional questions relevant to Canada as well as to expand the Canadian sample size to enhance the reliability of the Canadian data.


The Health Council of Canada, created by the 2003 First Ministers' Accord on Health Care Renewal is mandated to monitor and report on the progress of health care renewal in Canada. Councillors were appointed by the participating provinces, territories and the Government of Canada and have expertise and broad experience in community care, Aboriginal health, nursing, health education and administration, finance, medicine and pharmacy.

For more information on the Health Council of Canada and to view the bulletin, visit

SOURCE Health Council of Canada

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, contact: Pierre Lachaine, Health Council of Canada - Media Relations, Phone (416) 480-7085, Cell (416) 779-4532,

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