March 6, 2012—Despite a tendency to report overall satisfaction with their primary health care, Canadians living with chronic diseases may not be receiving all the care they need. A new report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reveals that while most people with selected chronic conditions— including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease—reported having a primary health care provider, one in five had not seen a care provider in the past 12 months. One in eight reported visiting emergency departments for a condition they perceived as being treatable by their primary health care provider.
Disparities in Primary Health Care Experiences Among Canadians With Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions uncovers barriers and challenges that exist for two groups in particular.
An estimated 6.8 million Canadians age 20 to 74 are affected by these chronic conditions, which result in an estimated 95,000 hospitalizations and almost 13,000 deaths annually. Addressing the gaps in care highlighted in this report could lead to more appropriate care and to a more efficient health care system.
Established in 1994, CIHI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that provides essential information on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians. Funded by federal, provincial and territorial governments, CIHI is guided by a Board of Directors made up of health leaders across the country. Our vision is to improve Canada’s health system and the well-being of Canadians by being a leading source of unbiased, credible and comparable information that will enable health leaders to make better-informed decisions.