Canada rates worst on health care waiting times

Canada has the worst rating in a new study of health care in seven countries when it comes to wait times for seeing doctors and getting elective surgery, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

According to the Fund:

  • Only 22 per cent of Canadians surveyed say they could get a same-day appointment when they're sick.

  • 30 per cent – by far the highest among the countries – say they had to wait six days or more.

  • Some 15 per cent reported waits of six months or more for non-emergency surgery.

  • Two-thirds reported having a lot of difficulty getting care at night, on weekends or holidays.

    According to the fund, 60 per cent of Canadians think their system needs fundamental changes; 12 per cent said it should be rebuilt completely.

    Source: Canada rates worst on health-care waiting times among 7 countries, Canadian Press, November 1, 2007; based upon: Cathy Schoen et al., Toward Higher-Performance Health Systems: Adults' Health Care Experiences in Seven Countries, 2007, Commonwealth Fund, Vol. 92, November 1, 2007.

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    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 06 November 2007
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