More than half of Canadians report having a chronic illness, and a third are not receiving appropriate treatment

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July 23, 2019 — The latest white paper based on the 13th edition of the Health Care in Canada (HCIC) survey was released today. Co-authored by members of the Pollara and HCIC Coalition teams, the paper focusses on analysing the HCIC survey findings as they relate to chronic disease. 

In the 2018 HCIC survey, more than half of Canadians reported having one or more chronic illnesses; with cardiovascular disease, arthritis, lung disease and mental health disorders, singly or in concert, the most common diagnoses. Despite increasing recognition and concern among the body politic, the prevalence of dementia remains comparatively low. Disappointingly, in the management of chronic diseases, only 66 percent of adults currently report they always or often receive appropriate treatments. The dominant reasons reported by patients for non-receipt of appropriate therapy are prolonged wait times, lack of affordability of care, and lack of understanding support from healthcare professionals.  

For more findings and analysis, download and read the white paper.

Established in 1998, the HCIC Survey is Canada’s longest-running, most in-depth survey of the public, general/family physicians, specialists, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, and health care administrators. It identifies and tracks perceived strengths, areas of concern, key current issues, and opportunities for improvement in health care quality, accessibility and affordability.

The 2018 edition is the 13th wave of the study, with additional regular waves of research scheduled in the years ahead. This edition of Canada’s report card on the health care system looked at a variety of issues including opinions about chronic disease prescription usage, timeliness of access to health care, challenges faced by non-professional caregivers, and options for end-of-life care and the opioid crisis.

More information about the 2018 and previous editions of the HCIC study, including links to all data, findings, and reporting, are provided here.  

Since its inception in 1998, the HCIC survey has been conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, supported by the HCIC survey partners, with principal funding from Merck Canada. The HCIC survey partners and sponsors are a broad group of national, multi-institutional health care stakeholders including many of the country’s top professional associations, not-for-profit health organizations, and institutions: the Canadian Cancer Society; Canadian Home Care Association; Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association; Canadian Medical Association; Canadian Nurses Association; Canadian Pharmacists Association; Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation; McGill University; Health Charities Coalition of Canada; HealthCareCAN; Innovative Medicines Canada; Institute of Health Economics; Studer Group Canada; Merck Canada; Strive Health Management; and, CareNet Health Management Consulting.

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