Jan 20, 2014
By Jane Brown
If you needed to see your family doctor right away, would you get a quick appointment? A new report from the Health Council of Canada shows this country ranks last in an international comparison that looks at how quickly patients can get in to see their family doctors. It turns out just 4 in 10 Canadians can get an appointment the same day or next with their primary care provider. There has been no improvement on access in the last decade. Germany ranks first with more than three-quarters of residents able to get quick access to family doctors and nurses. Mark Dobrow is the council’s director of analysis and reporting. He says the measurement is an important one because if the primary care system does not work well, pressure is brought to bear on other parts of the health system. As an example, Dobrow says when patients can’t get in to see their family doctor, they often resort to hospital emergency departments, contributing to long waits in the ER.