Improving Canada's health system in 4 ways

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In recent news, Canadas health care has been questioned, with accusations circling around the fact that change needs to take place for various reasons...

In recent news, Canada’s health care has been questioned, with accusations circling around the fact that change needs to take place for various reasons. Particularly, it’s been argued that doctors need to see patients as soon as they get sick—not several days or weeks later.

Today, in order for a healthcare system to be considered “good,” the system needs to be on a strong primary care system, with practices of family doctors, nurse practitioners and others who serve as the first point of contact for patients.

There are different ways in which Canada could ultimately improve its health care. Originally reported by our sister brand Business Review Canada, the following tips are suggestions that could be very useful.

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Doctor access

Patients need to have a doctor that they can see as soon as they get sick. In Canada, only 38 per cent of people report that they are actually able to see their doctor the same day or the next day when calling for an appointment. Other countries including France, Australia, Britain, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland have a much higher rate.

Improving quicker doctor access could improve healthcare as a whole, as well as limit the number of people who rely on walk-in clinics and emergency departments.

Doctor abilities

Primary care needs to be moved to a population-based model, meaning that a fundamental rethink of how primary care is organized needs to take place. Moving to a population-based model of primary care is not only doable, but is also taking place in several rural communities throughout Canada and in countries like the United Kingdom.

Improving Care

There needs to be a commitment to improving the overall quality of primary healthcare. Primary care can build on the experience of Canadian hospitals that already demonstrate the knowledge of building skills, structures and programs to improve care.

Specifically, quality should be increased in these six areas: safety, timeliness (access), efficiency, patient centeredness, effectiveness and equity.

Improving systems

Having the right systems in place isn’t just about getting hospital, lab and primary care computer systems connected. Though highly important, it’s also necessary to implement a fundamental redesign from sectors to systems, all the while continuing to strengthen the foundational role of primary care.

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[Source: The Star]

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