May 10, 2010
Media Release - Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index 2010
Regina: The Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the Belgian-based Health Consumer Powerhouse today released the 3rd annual Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index (ECHCI). The Index evaluates the consumer-friendliness of Canada’s healthcare system. It compares Canada to 33 European countries by assessing the extent to which each national healthcare system meets the needs of healthcare users.
In the study, analysts from the Frontier Centre and the Health Consumer Powerhouse compare the 34 national healthcare systems across five different “sub-disciplines:” Patient Rights and Access to Information, Wait Times, Patient Outcomes, Range and Reach of Services and Access to Pharmaceuticals.
The report shows that despite high levels of government spending, healthcare in Canada is markedly less responsive to consumers’ needs than most European countries. Findings include:
“This year’s ECHCI suggests that Canada has started to take some steps in the right direction,” says Ben Eisen, a co-author of the study. “We still have a long way to go before Canada can claim to have a world-class, healthcare system that is responsive to the needs of consumers.”
“Most importantly, Canadians still face excessively long waiting periods for care. Canada spends as much money as the top performers on healthcare like the Netherlands and Germany, but we haven’t been able to match their levels of efficiency. By looking at our own areas of relative weakness and examining European best practices, we can better understand where improvement is most needed and what sorts of reforms are likely to bring about measurable progress.”
The policy series, Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index 2010, can be found HERE.
For additional comments and/or background on the study, contact:
Policy Analyst, Frontier Centre for Public Policy
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy
is an independent public policy think tank whose mission is "to broaden the debate on our future through public policy research and education and to explore positive changes within our public institutions that support economic growth and opportunity."