September 16, 2008
WINNIPEG - A new study that compares Canada's health care with that of 29 European countries has found that even best-performing provinces do not provide the standard of care that is commonplace in Western Europe.
The study, called Euro-Canada Health Care Index, examines health care in Canada from the perspective of the consumer at the provincial level. It was released Tuesday by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Winnipeg-based think tank.
The study examines several health-care quality indicators like waiting times, patient rights and information, primary care and access to own medical records, giving each province up to 1,000 points.
A summary of the report says Canadians rely upon a system that is "sclerotic, inefficient and remarkably stingy" when it comes to providing excellent and timely care to patients.
When it comes to patients rights and information Canada tied with Poland, leaving behind only Latvia. For waiting times it shared last place with Ireland and Sweden.
Among the provinces, Ontario ranked at the top of the list "by a clear margin", followed by British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Worst-performers were Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
© The Canadian Press, 2008