Monday, August 22, 2011

Health ombudsman wanted by Canadians, CMA says

Canada needs a health-care ombudsman to address complaints about poor medical treatment, a new poll suggests.The majority of Canadians polled said a health-care agreement should take a national approach rather than focusing on the individual health needs of each province or territory.
The poll was part of the Canadian Medical Association annual report card on health care, released Monday at the group's conference in St. John's.
"Patients are too often lost in the shuffle in health care," said CMA president Dr. Jeff Turnbull.
The report card looked at attitudes on topics such as adopting a Canadian patient health charter to ensure accountability, a complaint mechanism, funding models for health care and the next federal-provincial health agreement.
Respondents felt strongly that a patient health charter should include recourse for those who receive poor health service, with 87 per cent saying they support a mechanism for citizens to complain about poor health service.
About 86 per cent supported including an independent ombudsman for complaints about poor health service in the patient health charter.
The survey also suggested:
  • 82 per cent of Canadians agreed that a patient health charter that outlined patients' rights and responsibilities would make the system more efficient.
  • 80 per cent agreed that the number of complaints against a jurisdiction should be reported so people can compare jurisdictions to one another.
  • 97 per cent agreed federal, provincial and territorial governments need to start working together on a new health accord to replace the current agreement that expires in 2014.
  • 93 per cent agreed that governments should meet every year to discuss the state of health care in the country.
Those surveyed were more divided about whether the federal-provincial health-care agreement should take a national or jurisdictional approach, with 52 per cent preferring one national in scope with all provinces agreeing on how the system will be funded, delivered and made accountable.
Similarly, 49 per cent chose a model where provinces and territories receive a certain amount of funding for health care to spend as they see fit. The other 46 per cent felt a portion of each provinces and territories' funding should be held back until performance targets are met. Five per cent did not answer.
Ipsos Reid conducted the poll between July 5 and July 8, using an online survey of 1,026 Canadian adults and a telephone survey of 1,000 Canadian adults on July 6 and 7.
The results of the telephone survey are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

No comments:

Post a Comment