The Angus Reid Institute released a first report from its August surveys in Canada and the United States on Wednesday. In this first report, the Institute reports that in the past six months, 41% of Canadians, or approximately 12.8 million adults, reported having difficulty or not having access to at least one of the following five health services:
- non-emergency healthcare services;
- emergency medical services;
- surgical services;
- diagnostic medical examinations;
- the services of a specialist.
The Angus Reid Institute’s second report, released Thursday morning, provides an update on access to a GP.
British Columbia and Quebec (23% in both provinces) have the highest numbers of people without a doctor, followed by the Atlantic (19%). In Saskatchewan it is only 10% and in Ontario 12%.
A rare pearl for seekers
Of 455 respondents who said they did not have a family doctor, 8% have been looking for less than six months, 11% have been looking for more than six months, 35% have been looking for more than a year, 29% have given up looking and 17% are looking or want to no family doctor.
According to the Angus Reid Institute, access to specialist care and diagnostic medical exams is more difficult for those who do not have a family doctor or have difficulty getting an appointment with one.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted its own survey in Canada August 8-10 of 2,279 Canadians from its Angus Reid Forum. Just as a rough guide: A probability sample of this size would have had an error rate of +/- 2.0 percentage points in 19 cases out of 20.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted the same survey in the United States on August 16-17 among 1,209 American members of its Angus Reid USA Forum. Just as a rough guide: A probability sample of this size would have had an error rate of +/- 2.0 percentage points in 19 cases out of 20.
Third of the consultations take place virtually
Of the 1,824 respondents with a family doctor, 32% conduct their consultations mostly via video conference or telephone, 68% in person.
Of those who primarily visit their doctor virtually, 24% are satisfied with this practice, 41% are satisfied with it, 24% dislike it, and 11% loathe it.
Not better at the American neighbors
The Angus Reid Institute says it wanted to contextualize the Canadian data by conducting a similar survey in the United States. He notes in his report that the number of Americans who do not have a family doctor (24%) is similar to the number of Canadians (20%).
In contrast, US respondents report easier access to their family doctor. Of the 919 Americans who reported having a family doctor, 24% said they had to wait longer than a week for an appointment, while of the 1,824 Canadians with a family doctor, 41% said they had to wait that long.
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