CANADA'S HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM COMPARES POORLY WITH EUROPE
January 21, 2008
Canada ranks 23rd out of 30 countries surveyed when it comes to patient rights and providing the health-care consumer with information, according to a study by the Euro-Canadian Health Consumer Index (ECHCI).
According to the report's authors:
- When it comes to patient rights and providing the health-care consumer with information, Canada lags far behind most of Europe.
- Because the system is oriented toward providers rather than users, consumers lack meaningful guarantees of timely and effective treatment.
- Successful European health-care systems include strong "patient rights" laws, something Canada lacks.
Without these rights laws, as well as the right to a second opinion, unrestricted access to medical records and ready information about the qualifications and histories of doctors, Canadians are treated as passive patients rather than empowered consumers.
In addition, the index includes a bang-for-the-buck metric, which assesses each country's performance in the context of how much each country spends on health care per capita. From this perspective, Canada falls to the very bottom, getting the least value for money of all 30 countries analyzed.
Source: Rebecca Walberg, "Canada's health-care system compares poorly with Europe," Edmonton Journal, January 21, 2008.
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