Health care remains one of the most important issues of concern for Canadians and for citizens in a number of countries throughout the world. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine the average lifespan will continue to grow as will the need for a sustainable health care system. Advancements in new technology, drugs and life-saving innovations coupled with a need for ever-increasing funds, an aging population and a shortage of health care providers are just a few of the issues facing health care.
Much has been written on the state of the Canadian health care system and the need for change. One recurring theme is that patients will be required to assume greater individual responsibility for their personal health care journey.
Here are some of the issues you may encounter on your journey:
- Waiting lists
- Limited care and treatment options
- Outdated facilities and equipment
- Shortage of medical professionals and other health care providers
- Leaving the country for medical care
- Lack of information and data regarding health care system costs and performance
- No independent complaints process
- Limited legal recourse for medical malpractice
Accessibility and accountability are two of the most important issues facing patients in the Canadian health care system. It is easy to see why the public is now requesting changes to the system including timely access to quality care and greater government transparency and accountability. However, a lack of information and data on the costs of our health care system and its quality make it difficult, if not impossible, to properly assess its performance
Here is a patient’s perspective on how the Canadian health care system is performing.