Canada’s Health System: International Comparisons
Comparing countries’ health systems can help Canadians understand how well their health system is working. Although health information is collected and used differently in every country, policy-makers, practitioners and the public can use international comparisons to establish priorities for improvement, set goals and motivate stakeholders to act.
Comparing the provinces with OECD countries
International comparisons provide provincial and territorial governments with a broader context for benchmarking and peer learning. CIHI’s interactive web tool compares results from Canada’s provinces with those from OECD countries.
Reports and analyses
This report uses data from the OECD’s biennial report Health at a Glance 2015 to compare Canada internationally across 5 dimensions of care. Using the topic of diabetes as an example, the report illustrates how comparing Canada’s indicator results with those of international comparators can provide context for our performance and point to potential strategies for improvement.
The Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy surveys
The Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy surveys fill important information gaps by polling patients and providers in a number of developed countries. CIHI’s companion reports on the following surveys highlight the Canadian story and examine how experiences vary across Canada and relative to other developed countries.
- 2015 survey of primary care physicians: This edition of the survey provides comparable information on the views and experiences of primary care doctors in 10 countries.
- 2014 survey of older adults: This survey polled the general population age 55 and older in 11 developed countries.
As health care systems evolve to meet new demands and growing needs, measuring and monitoring quality of care has become increasingly common both in Canada and worldwide. This report uses the OECD’s quality of care indicators to provide an in-depth look at the quality of care within Canada’s health care system, compared with systems in other countries. These comparisons can help us identify best performers and determine benchmarks for quality improvement.
The OECD compares member countries on a number of key health indicators in its biennial report Health at a Glance 2013. This CIHI Analysis in Brief focuses on the Canadian results for a selection of OECD indicators and identifies areas where Canada performs well and where it can improve. As an illustration of the relationships among indicators, Canada’s performance on lung cancer mortality is explored.
This Analysis in Brief, the first in the international comparisons series, examines Canadians’ health status, non-medical determinants of health, quality of care and access to care. It is based on international results that appeared in the OECD’s Health at a Glance 2011, which provided statistics and indicators for comparing health systems across its 34 member countries.
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