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Major Themes in Health Care in Canada


Submitted By TLChristiansen
Words 2552
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HADM 339 – Essay

Major themes in health care in Canada include access to services. Identify the issues, identify the changes you believe are needed and discuss the approach you would propose to implement these changes.

Simply put, access in the health care sector refers to the ability for a patient to receive the care and services required to maintain a healthy quality of life. Access to health care services continues to be a key issue for Canadians and health policy makers.1,2 Key issues exist in several dimensions of the health care process, including access to a specialist, non-emergency surgery and non-emergency diagnostic testing. More specifically, it is the significant amount of time one will spend waiting for their opportunity to receive these services that remains a concern. Among those who had waited for specialist visits, 29% reported unacceptable waits. This was also true for 17% of patients who were waiting for a non-emergency surgery and 20% for those waiting for diagnostic testing.3 Median waiting times for all specialized services remained relatively stable between 2003 and 2005 at 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the kind of care. Approximately 18% of individuals who visited a specialist indicated that waiting for the visit affected their life, compared with 11% and 12% for non-emergency surgery and diagnostic tests respectively.4 Despite several efforts made by government agencies, access still remains one of the foremost issues identified. Billions of dollars have been invested to solve this chronic issue, unfortunately several obstacles still remain impeding significant progress to solve accessibility issues in the Canadian health care system.

Policy makers continue to strategize on how to reduce these wait times and provide care in an efficient, appropriate manner. In addition to specialty services, Canadians also report issues

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