CARP Health Care Update Report

Key Findings

October 5, 2012: Since this benchmark poll was first taken in June 2011, there have been decreases in the proportion who have waited for appointments or treatments, and decreases in perceptions of long wait times. At the same time, there have been significant increases in the use of electronic health records.

Almost all CARP members agree, and the majority “strongly”, that health care providers should be required by law to meet certain service benchmarks, and those who fail to meet them should face pay/funding cuts, license suspension or fines.

Not only have many members had to wait for treatment, many also believe wait times are getting longer. However, there are positive indicators since last year that perceptions and experience of long wait times have decreased,

Members are in favour of national drug purchasing and coverage strategies as the best way to bring down the cost of drugs. Use of electronic health records appears to be very common among CARP members’ doctors and has increased significantly since last year.

Teletriage, or telephone medical advisory, is very successful and widely used among CARP members. Health innovation in Canada is very important to CARP members, and they think Canada is a player in this field.

The best way to enhance the caregiver-patient experience is to fund more home care and caregiver income support, according to members. A significant minority of members say communications between themselves and their family doctors could use improvement.

In general, the wide majority of members find their interactions with the health care system to be satisfactory.

Slip and fall injuries and incapacitation among our members are fairly common, and are overwhelmingly a female phenomenon.

The vast majority of members believe Personal Services Workers (PSWs) should be regulated by the government.

A significant minority of members find it difficult to navigate the health care system, relying on themselves or their family doctor to assist them, and many would like to see this burden shifted to their doctor or to a community care worker.

One third of members have had difficulty finding a family doctor after they had moved or their previous doctor retired, and they are most likely to see the answer to this problem as training more family doctors.

There is unanimous support for CARP’s “One Patient” seamless continuum of care concept of patient-centred health care, and the aspects of this concept most valued are integrated health teams, a ‘clear pathway to care’ and wider use of electronic health records..

The Conservative Party has regained some lost ground at the expense of the NDP, and the Liberals have increased their share of voter preference slightly.

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