The following is a review of developments affecting health care in CanadaThe information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.
The following information has been compiled from publicly available sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.
Healthcare in Canada - September 2002
The Alberta government has cleared the way for Calgary's Health Resource Centre (HRC), a private health facility to perform selected non-medicare surgeries requiring overnight stays. The HRC is approved to perform up to 441 procedures annually until January 2005. It will offer five orthopedic procedures, requiring overnight stays from two to five days, to patients who are uninsured under the Canada Health Act. Patients will include Workers' Compensation Board recipients from Alberta and elsewhere in Canada, federal government employees such as the military and RCMP, and some out-of-country residents. No Canadian resident will be able to pay directly for, or use private insurance to pay for, procedures at HRC.
Alberta is using new federal funds to take an Edmonton-area telephone health information service province wide. Capital Health Link has provided a 24-hour telephone health advice and information service to the Edmonton region for two years. With the help of $54 million from the federal government, the province will now work with regional health authorities to expand the service. The service is expected to be fully operational by the end of next year. It will operate from contact centres in Calgary and Edmonton, providing triage, referral and health information.
BC's Centralized Transfusion Registry (CTR) is looking to expand its services across the country. The CTR was set up in 1997 by the then NDP government in response to the Krever Commission's recommendation to support recipient identification (look-back) patient transfusion history (trace-back) and utilization activities. The database collects and stores information regarding the dispensing of all blood products used in BC, including patient and product information. It can produce pre-defined hospital, regional and provincial reports to assess problems in use and management of the province's supply. Since April 1999, 94 hospitals in BC. and one in the Yukon have provided data collection, including look-back and trace-back information.
The Fraser Institute, Vancouver, BC has released the report "How Good is Canadian Health Care: An International Comparison of Health-Care Systems." It compared Canada to 25 other OECD countries in Asia and Europe with universal access, publicly funded systems. Instead of simply increasing funding, the study suggests that allowing private health care to operate parallel to public services may be the way to improve the system. Data in the report show that Canada's system remains the most expensive, but languishes close to the bottom when it comes to quality of service. When it comes to health care spending, most countries allocate funding according to the average age of its population. In Canada, those 65 and older consume 42.7% of total health-care expenditures, although they make up only 12.5% of the population. Adjusting for age, Canada spends more than any other OECD country: 11.7% of its GDP. France spends 10.1%, Australia 10.9%, Sweden 7.9% and Japan 7.6%.
The Canadian Medical Association recently recommended that all pregnant women in Canada should be tested for HIV. There are now no provincial or national standards for HIV testing of pregnant women and the CMA estimates between 0.2% and 0.4% of children in Canada are born with HIV.
Healthcare in Canada - Summer 2002
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Last modified: October 01, 2002