Canada worst for doctors

Even though Canadians spend more on health care than almost every other comparable country with universal health care, Canada is still near the bottom for access to physicians.

A Fraser Institute study finds Canada suffers from the longest wait times.

“Canadians pay a lot for their universal health-care system, but compared to other countries with universal health care, our system performs poorly on a number of key measures,” said Bacchus Barua, associate director.

Twenty-nine universal health-care systems were compared, with a focus on cost, availability, use of resources, access to care and treatment, clinical performance and quality, and the health of patients. 

Canada ranked 25th out of 29 countries for number of physicians and dead last for the number of acute-care beds, with just 2.1 per 1,000 people.

On wait times, Canada performed the worst, with the highest percentage of patients who waited four months or longer for a specialist appointment, and the highest percentage of patients who waited four months of longer for elective surgery. 

Germany was the front runner and had no patients reporting having to wait more than four months for elective surgery. 

“To improve Canada’s health-care system, policymakers should learn from other successful universal health-care countries, for the benefit of Canadians and their families,” said Barua. 

Canada’s health-care spending ranked the third highest after adjusting for age, behind only Switzerland and France in 2015. 

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