Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 5(1) September 2001 : 76-76.doi:10.12927/hcq..17399

Quarterly Index: Healthcare Reform


There is overwhelming support among Canadians for healthcare reform: nine in 10 Canadians support patient rostering, and a small but substantial percentage support paying fees if they make an unreferred visit to a physician outside their physician group. Support for multidisciplinary health groups providing a wide range of health services also runs to 80% or more among Canadians.

Concerns About the Future

Canadians' high level of support for healthcare reform is matched by their concerns over the future of health.There has been a 50% drop in the proportion of Canadians who believe their provincial government and the federal government are doing an excellent or good job ensuring Canadians get good healthcare.

Moreover, only one in 10 Canadians is very confident their provincial governments will be able to provide good quality healthcare five years from now.

Canadians are looking outside the loop for information and health products

At the same time as more Canadians become dissatisfied and concerned about health they are becoming restless and defiant,moving outside the loop.

  • 75% of Canadians have used one or more natural health products in the previous six months, up from 60% in 1998, and most of them do not tell their physicians about it.
  • The proportion of Canadians using naturopaths and herbalists has tripled from 1% for each in 1993 to 3% for each.
  • Between 2000 and 2001, the proportion of Canadians using the Internet for health-related purposes in the previous month has increased from about one in five to one in three.
  • Three out of four of these Internet users for health-related purposes did not discuss Internet information with their physician during their last visit, and most of these people have never discussed Internet information on health with their physician.
  • Between 2000 and 2001, the proportion of Canadians buying health products and advice over the Internet in the previous month has soared from 5% of these healthrelated Internet users to 13%.
  • In this time, the proportion who bought prescription medication over the Internet in the previous month has gone from a percentage too small to measure to 3% of users of the Internet for health-related purposes.

These and other findings indicate that Canadians are moving outside the loop for information and services, and that their concerns and behaviour are affecting their interactions with mainstream healthcare.


Data supplied by The Berger Population Health Monitor; surveys were administered to ±2,500 respondents 15 years of age and older.

Topics in The Berger Population Health Monitor, which continues the Canada Health Monitor, are selected in consultation with subscribers and The Hay Healthcare Consulting Group. For more information contact, Earl Berger,Managing Director of The Monitor, 416-815-6405 or e-mail:


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