The Canadian Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the Health Consumer Powerhouse released the third annual Canada Health Consumer Index (CHCI). The Index evaluates the consumer-friendliness of Canada’s healthcare system. It compares Canada to 33 European countries by assessing the extent to which each national healthcare system meets the needs of healthcare users.
In the study, analysts from the Frontier Centre and the Health Consumer Powerhouse compare the 34 national healthcare systems across five different “sub-disciplines:” Patient Rights and Access to Information, Wait Times, Patient Outcomes, Range and Reach of Services and Access to Pharmaceuticals.
The report shows that despite high levels of government spending, healthcare in Canada is markedly less responsive to consumers’ needs than most European countries. Ben Eisen, a co-author of the study, says: “Canadians still face excessively long waiting periods for care. Canada spends as much money as the top performers on healthcare like the Netherlands and Germany, but we haven’t been able to match their levels of efficiency. By looking at our own areas of relative weakness and examining European best practices, we can better understand where improvement is most needed and what sorts of reforms are likely to bring about measurable progress.”