News at Medicine - September 2011 - How engaged are Canadians in their primary care?

How engaged are Canadians in their primary care?
September 22, 2011
Only 48 per cent of Canadians feel involved and are actively participating in their health care – which affects how they feel about their health.

In a report released Sept. 22, How Engaged are Canadians in their Primary Care? Results from the 2010 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, the Health Council of Canada takes a look at why less than half of Canadians are taking a more active role in maintaining their health.

The report shows that engaged patients are happier with their care and more likely to participate in disease prevention, screenings and health promoting activities. The biggest barrier to patient engagement is time, and those patients who had experiences with long waits or who felt they didn’t have enough time with their doctor did not feel as engaged in their care.

Among 10 other countries who take part in the survey, Canada falls in the middle when it pertains to patient engagement. The countries ranking highest – New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland – are the same countries in a past Commonwealth survey (2010) who earned high ratings from citizens on access, affordability, timeliness and coordination of care.