Study shows Canada’s health care system ill-prepared for second COVID outbreak
New Canadian think tank SecondStreet.org released today a policy brief that shows Canada’s health care system is ill-equipped to fight a COVID-19 resurgence or an even stronger pandemic. The report also examines five health care systems in other countries that provide better services for a lower cost.
“Compared to many other countries, Canada has fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita,” said SecondStreet.org President Colin Craig. “That’s a problem if COVID-19 has a stronger second wave or if a more serious pandemic comes along. Not only would hospitals be stretched, it would be unconscionable to delay 200,000 surgeries and procedures again and extend waiting lists even longer.”
SecondStreet.org’s report cites OECD data showing Canada came last or second last in terms of doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita compared with Australia, New Zealand, UK, Norway and Netherlands. These five countries were ranked higher than Canada for health care outcomes in a 2017 Commonwealth Fund report. These countries five countries spend less on health care while still providing universal health coverage. SecondStreet.org’s new report provides an easy-to-understand description of how each of those systems work from a patient-perspective.
“Countries that perform better than Canada all have something in common, they have a public system with private options,” added Craig. “In Canada, politicians often put Canadians on to long waiting lists then outlaw alternative private options. That’s one reason why hundreds of thousands of Canadians leave the country for health care.”
To see SecondStreet.org’s new policy brief – click here.
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