Canadians continue to suffer from a doctor shortage, according to a new report that found 1 in 5 people have not been able to find a physician to treat them regularly.
A Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) released Wednesday found that more than four million Canadians are without a doctor, either because they have not found a family physician to take them on, or because they have not looked for one.
This proportion was up by 3 per cent since the 1996/1997 National Population Health Survey.
“The overall picture of the study is that we’re not doing as well as we need to do in the whole picture,” said Dr. Brian Day with the Canadian Medical Association. “A 26,000 doctor shortage falls short of the average of other developing countries.”
The survey also concluded that Canadians are not necessarily healthier than they were a couple of years ago. Then again, they’re not worse off either.
Since 2005, obesity rates among Canadians have not changed, according to the report. Nor have the number of Canadians who smoke.
This is despite drastic changes in those health categories in previous years.
The report was based on a comprehensive survey of 65,000 Canadians throughout 2007.
Seems that Canada’s universal healthcare isn’t so universal. To be fair the headline is misleading. Many of those who can’t find one haven’t really looked and just go to ERs when needed. Problem is with these things is that there are likely lots of people like me. I have health insurance but no doctor. I’ve not seen one in years. Pushing 10 if not more. There are likely lots of young people who don’t bother. That brings up another point though. If all these people aren’t using the service, either voluntarily or because of doctor scarcity, shouldn’t they not be paying for it?