A new Canadian health study by the Fraser Institute sheds valuable light on the current state of our public healthcare system. And, according to this new research, the standard of care is nowhere near as efficient as it could be.
The study, which compared 29 developed countries’ universal healthcare systems, found that although Canada is a top spender on healthcare, it ranked near-bottom on crucial healthcare services such as: availability of doctors, wait times, intensive care beds, and—no surprise—medical imaging.
“Despite Canada’s high health-care spending, we continue to struggle with long wait times, which remain a defining characteristic,” said Bacchus Barua, the lead author of the study. “Canadians pay a lot for their universal health-care system, but compared to other countries with universal health care, our system performs poorly on a number of key measures,” he said.
One of those key areas is medical imaging—particularly MRI diagnostics, which offers the clearest results without the risk of ionizing radiation. This recent study found Canada ranking 20th out of 27 for access to MRI machines, with only 9.8 machines available per million people.
Shockingly, Canada was ranked 25 out of 29 countries for physician availability (2.7 doctors per 1000 people) and last place overall for acute care beds.
Germany, who leads the developed countries in universal health care efficiency, could teach Canadian policymakers how to better spend their healthcare dollars.
“To improve Canada’s health-care system, policymakers should learn from other successful universal health-care countries, for the benefit of Canadians and their families,” said Barua.