Health care varies across Canada: Report

Queensway Carleton Hospital emergency room in Ottawa.



OTTAWA - Canada's provincial health care systems aren't created equal, a new report says.

Some provinces - notably Quebec and Ontario - are doing more with less when it comes to delivering health care to its residents, according to data released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute.

Comparing statistics from across the country from 2010 - the latest available data - researchers looked at the availability of resources such as family physicians, specialists and medical equipment.

The report also weighs how those resources were used, wait times for services, mortality rates and patient safety and how much the system cost
each province.

"There's no province that does the best in every category," said Nadeem Esmail, health policy studies director at the right leaning think-tank.

"But there are definitely provinces doing a better job delivering value-for-money to their citizens than others."

Quebec and New Brunswick have the greatest resources available, Ontario and New Brunswick use their resources the most, the shortest waits for access to the system are in Ontario and Quebec, and Alberta and Manitoba rank highest in terms of clinical performance.

Esmail maintains the size of the health-care budget isn't a real factor when it comes to overall ranking. The question, he said, should be: What do the provinces that are excelling do better than those with worse outcomes?

"The problems we face with medicare are not money related, they're policy related," he said.

"The money to have world-class health care is already in the system. We know need to understand how to put that money to the right use."

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