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Canada's health-care system is third-last in new ranking of developed countries

Canada's health-care system is third-last in new ranking of developed countries
From Global News - July 14, 2017

Canada has been ranked third-to-last in a detailed new study comparing health-care systems in 11 developed nations, managing to beat out only France and the bottom-ranked United States.

The study, published this week by a New York-based private research foundation called the Commonwealth Fund, focuses largely on Americas dismal performance, but also reveals stubborn weaknesses in Canadas system that keep us lagging behind top-ranked countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

READ MORE:Heres why Canada gets a failing grade in treating the obesity epidemic

According to the study, which relies on72 metrics grouped into five distinct categories (Care Process, Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes), those weaknesses include Canadas comparatively higher infant mortality rate, the prevalence of chronic conditions, long wait times in emergency rooms and to see specialists, poor availability of after-hours care, and a lack of reliable coverage for things like dental work and many prescription drugs.

The reports authors cite the markedly lower performance of Canada, France and the United States compared to the other countries, which all group relatively closely above the 11-country average performance score.

The document makes it clear Canadians are not getting value for money, spending the equivalent of 10 per cent of our GDP on health care in 2014.Meanwhile, many higher-ranked countries spent less and still managed to come out on top.

Its certainly not all bad news, however.

Canada performed quite well on many metrics. The country has some of the lowest mortality rates for patients who end up in hospital following a heart attack, for example, and survival rates for certain types of cancer are also comparatively high. Unlike their peers abroad, Canadian doctors were unlikely to say that they wasted too much time on administrative tasks.

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