Two in three Canadians are satisfied with access to health care but see room for improvement

Two in three Canadians say they are satisfied or neutral about their overall access to health care, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN), which identifies opportunities to improve care delivery.

TORONTO, April 12, 2022 /CNW/ – The report, “Together to Transform Health Care in Canada,” was based on a survey of more than 1,800 Canadians. In addition, one in four Canadians (25%) find it difficult to navigate the health care system – whether to book appointments at the right time, to find specialists or to obtain the right services. available.

In terms of access to health care providers (for example, a family doctor, emergency department or specialists), the survey found that Canadians are generally satisfied, but that levels of satisfaction decreases for people living in remote areas and people with chronic illnesses. Dissatisfied respondents are most concerned about access to supportive health and wellness services, such as mental health support, diet and nutrition programs, and the ability to obtain information information on publicly funded health services and insurance coverage.

“The pandemic has created a ripe opportunity to rethink the way we deliver healthcare in Canada,” said Jimmy Yang, managing director and healthcare industry leader at Accenture in Canada. “But doing that means putting the patient, rather than the system, at the centre, innovating on all fronts, and making better use of existing health care resources, such as pharmacies and paramedics, to deliver certain kinds of care. Canadians deserve better access to care, and digital tools and technology can support that access. »

Necessity is the mother of invention

The report notes that the need for heightened safety precautions during the pandemic has led to new ways of delivering care. He also highlighted the possibility for public and private actors to play a direct role in providing and improving care, including through virtual appointments and other digital services.

In fact, the study found that online booking and appointment scheduling, health services at neighborhood pharmacies, and telemedicine services are the top three services that 80% of Canadians want to continue after the pandemic.

The pandemic has also exposed significant gaps in the current model of Canadian health care. These include a shortage of digital tools and a reliance on outdated processes and systems that are neither efficient nor easy to use. These factors, combined with Canada’s aging and complex patient population, place immense pressure on the Canadian healthcare system to respond more effectively to rapidly changing demands, while thinking about system capacity from a different perspective, according to the report.

“Canada has the expertise and the financial resources to deliver a world-class health system that meets the complex needs of all communities,” said Mr. Yang. “But the only way to achieve this in a sustainable way is for leaders in healthcare, government and industry to work together and put people at the center to transform the way people receive Healthcare. »

According to the report, 72% of Canadians say they are comfortable with the idea of ​​the private sector playing a greater role in the health care system, especially if it has the purpose and result of improving the services available to them. offered. In contrast, a majority (63%) of Canadians say they would not pay more for health care beyond that provided by the government. Accenture’s report reveals that public-private partnerships can improve options for better access to care, closer to home.

Opportunities to improve the system

This research identified four major areas for improvement to create a better, more personalized and more efficient care experience for Canadians.

Priority to personalization: Three in four Canadians (75%) say they would allow their healthcare professional to share their personal health information, especially if it is to inform about more personalized care, such as targeted advice on medication intake and treatment based on their individual genetics.

Improve access points to care, whether physical or digital: Health services closer to home could improve access to care, for example through pharmacies. In fact, nearly two in three Canadians (66%) say they are comfortable receiving care such as the administration of injection medications and vaccines at their pharmacy. Additionally, the use of virtual care has increased dramatically during the pandemic and can help simplify access to clinical services by placing them at the fingertips of patients. The study found that 78% of Canadians are comfortable with virtual appointments and telemedicine, but people still prefer the in-person visit: given the choice, 44% of respondents would continue to opt for a virtual tour.

Strengthen patient and provider engagement: More than half of Canadians (54%) only contact their healthcare professional when they need care and, conversely, healthcare professionals mostly communicate with patients if the patient initiates contact ( 58%). There is a need for a more proactive and preventative approach, as only 15% of patients report that their provider currently takes this type of approach.

Improve investment in digital health tools: Canadians trust some digital tools, but are most comfortable using them for administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments and reminders. They are less comfortable if these tools, including artificial intelligence (AI), are tied to diagnosis or treatment.

Accenture Health leverages the power of technology and human ingenuity to help clients improve healthcare access, experience and impact. With the help of our innovative technology services, our customers deliver efficient, personalized experiences that humanize healthcare for all. For more information visit:

Health Index publication: 2022-04-12 – Number of visits since publication: 263

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Two in three Canadians are satisfied with access to health care but see room for improvement

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