Toronto, ON (December 12, 2011) – Today, the Health Council of Canada released results from the 2011 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey. The bulletin How Do Sicker Canadians with Chronic Disease Rate the Health Care System? compares experiences of sicker Canadians with chronic conditions to those of the general public.
Sicker Canadians report using more health care services than the general population. They are more likely to be hospitalized, have surgery, use emergency departments and take prescription medication compared to the general public. Most of this group is 50 years of age or older, but 34% are adults under the age of 50.
Along with being more frequent users of the health care system, sicker Canadians report experiencing considerable barriers to accessing the health care they need. Cost being one of the major barriers. Almost a quarter (23%), said they skipped a dose of medication or did not fill a prescription due to cost, compared to just 10% of the general population. This is a significant number since 90% of sicker Canadians take at least one prescription drug, and 54% take four or more. In addition, one in eight (12%) respondents have skipped a recommended test of follow up treatment due to cost concerns, compared to just 5% of the general population.