Low grades for health system

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NationalPost.com – news/Blackwell on Health
Aug 16, 2011.    Tom Blackwell

A new survey on attitudes about the health-care system reveals some interesting responses, confirming that Canadians have widespread misgivings about the system, even while not fully understanding how it works. They also favour using tax incentives to encourage healthier living and eating.

The survey of 2,300 Canadians carried out in April by the consulting firm Deloitte was part of a larger poll covering 12 countries. It is considered accurate to within two percentage points, 95% of the time.

Some of the highlights include:

– Just 5% of respondents gave the system an A grade; 45% giving it a B, 36% a C, 10% a D, and 4% a failing F.

– 33% of Canadians said they understood how the system works, down from 39% in 2009 when Deloitte did a similar survey.

– 69% feel that the system has not improved in the last two years, while there were slightly more who thought it had deteriorated, as opposed to improved, in that period.

– 36% believe that half the money spent on health care is wasted; interestingly, half of those skeptics blame the waste on people failing to take responsibility for their own health.

– 13% reported that they are caring for another person, up from 10% in 2009, a possible sign of the increasing personal burden posed by the aging population. In a third of those cases, the individual is caring for a spouse.

– 55% rated their health as excellent or very good … even though 52% report having been diagnosed with one or more chronic diseases.

– 63% favour some kind of tax-based incentive to encourage more healthy diets and lifestyles.

– About 80% favour expanding medical-school enrollments to increase the supply of doctors.

< http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/08/16/blackwell-on-health-low-grades-for-health-system/ >

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