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Monday, August 16, 2004

More Canadians giving health-care system a failing grade

August 15, 2004
A growing number of Canadians are giving the country's health-care system a mediocre or failing grade, a report card by the organization representing Canada's doctors suggests.

"The report card shows that things are getting worse," said Dr. Sunil Patel, president of the Canadian Medical Association, which released the national poll to coincide with its annual meeting this week in Toronto. "Year over year, Canadians have identified that their confidence in their health-care system is eroding."

While the quality of medicare earned a B overall, the proportion of C and F grades jumped by eight percentage points compared with a similar poll commissioned by the CMA last year. ...

Last month, provincial health ministers called on Paul Martin's government to fund a national pharmacare plan. But the prime minister and federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh have taken a scalpel to the idea, saying the country can't afford its estimated $7-billion to $12-billion annual price tag. ...

"This is where it comes back to the poll," said Patel. Canadians "do not wish to see an expansion of the health-care system unless and until we address the No. 1 problem facing Canadians, which is the lack of doctors, nurses and technologists, and the waiting times getting worse." ... FR Reprint.

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