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The 2013 Canadian Healthcare Rankings

According to the Fraser Institute, Ontario offers the fastest healthcare services in Canada. Wait times are shortest, matching patients with the services they need in the timeliest fashion. This isn’t just shorter delays to see doctors, but also quickest access to secondary and support health services, such as testing or consultations.

Each year, the Fraser Institute gives a thorough look at healthcare in Canada, measuring spending per capita, as well as access to care and clinical outcomes. They want to find out how much provinces are spending, and which provinces are getting the most value for the money they do spend. Quebec ranked the highest overall, but the numbers paint a complicated picture.

For example, the wealthy province of Alberta is the one of the more expensive regarding healthcare costs, but its citizens get the best value for its money. On the other hand, Quebec gets good value for the money it does spend, but is also the province that spends the greatest percent of its entire provincial budget on healthcare, which is a huge factor in its overall ranking.

As is the case with most countries that offer universal healthcare, Canada’s medical care system follows a preventative rather than responsive model. People are encouraged to make contact with medical professionals before they get sick and money is invested in making sure that a costly illness can be avoided. In Canada, community service workers of all kinds do everything, from keeping seniors active to teaching nutrition directly to various communities. Or in another example, personal support worker training lets people work with the disabled, creating an increased cost but also keeping the disabled person out of institutions and sometimes even able to work for a salary. The Canadian healthcare system itself can be confusing, but the elements within are carefully calculated, and aim to uphold the prevention of illness.

Still, some problems will continue to persist. In a country with as low of a population density as Canada has, there is a constant need for more facilities and more support staff. Graduates from healthcare diploma programs certainly help satisfy this need, but there a rising concern that the growing demand for healthcare will require more support staff and trained professionals than the country is equipped to handle.

What do you think about the provincial rankings? Do they represent what you thought about the Canadian healthcare system?

 

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