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A new study from the Fraser Institute found that Canadians endured the longest waiting times for treatment among the 10 countries tracking this data, while paying more in taxes for health care than 29 countries with universal health coverage. paying the expenses.

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The report, which echoes similar findings in the past, comes after Tuesday’s disrupted two-day meeting of federal and state health ministers in Vancouver.

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The state health minister has accused the federal government of underfunding health care and called for a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Prime Minister Trudeau said that while the federal government is ready to increase federal funding to provide health care, which is the state’s responsibility, instead of the states properly funding health care, the wealthy He replied that giving tax cuts was part of the problem.

This federal and state blame game has been going on for decades, regardless of the political stripes of the governments involved.

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The prime minister accused Ottawa of not funding healthcare and said the federal government needed to prove through reliable data that federal money is being used to improve healthcare. I am answering.

As a result, no meaningful reform has taken place, and Canada’s healthcare system is weakening as a result.

Among the findings of the Fraser Institute report — Comparison of performance of universal health care countries in 2022 — Based on the latest available 2020 data:

Canadians pay the highest for health care among 29 other comparable countries at 13.3% of annual GDP when adjusted for age of the population.

Despite high costs, Canada ranks 28th out of 30 countries for the number of doctors (2.8 per 1,000). 23 out of 28 (2.2 per 1,000) in emergency beds. 22 of 29 in psychiatric beds (0.38 per 1,000). The number of MRI machines is 26 out of 29 (10.3 per million people) and the number of CT scanners is 27 out of 30 (15 per million people).

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Among 10 comparable universal health care countries that track wait times, Canada ranks lowest, with the lowest percentage of patients waiting within four weeks to see a specialist (38%) , with the lowest proportion of patients waiting within 4 months. Elective surgery (62%).

According to a survey last year of 1,100 Canadian doctors, the median wait time to receive medically necessary elective care in Canada in 2021 will increase from general practitioner referral to start of specialist care. It was 25.6 weeks.

This was up from 22.6 weeks from the first year of the 2020 pandemic and 175% longer than the median wait time of 9.3 weeks in 1993, the first year of data tracking.

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“Despite high spending levels in Canada, access to and availability of health care resources is generally inferior to comparable countries,” said study co-author Backus Barua. increase. “Performance in terms of utilization and quality is mixed.”

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All of these deficiencies were exacerbated by the pandemic, according to the study, but they were all present before the pandemic started in early 2020.

Canada’s other 29 countries for comparison include all members of the G7 (Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan), but the US is excluded as it does not have universal health care. .

“To improve Canada’s health care system…policy makers must learn from other successful universal health care programs for the benefit of Canadians and their families,” said study co-author Mackenzie More. .

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