P.E.I. residents receive poor value for money in health care: report

Jim Day
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Prince Edward Islanders get a comparatively unhealthy bang for the buck when it comes to provincial health care systems, according to a new report.

P.E.I. ranks nine out of 10 provinces for overall value for money in health care, concludes a report from the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading public policy think-tank.

Newfoundland and Labrador sits at the bottom.

The Provincial Healthcare Index 2013 compares the per-capita cost of provincial health care systems to the availability and quality of medical goods and services in each province.

The report measures 46 performance indicators comprising availability of resources, timeliness, volume of services provided, and clinical performance using publically available data from 2010 (or the most recent year available).

Quebec's health care system ranked highest overall followed by Ontario and New Brunswick.

"Measuring and reporting the performance of health care systems is vital for ensuring accountability and transparency,'' said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute director of health policy studies.

"The study allows policymakers and taxpayers to judge whether they receive good value for their health care dollars.''

Overall value for money in health care* 1) Quebec 2) Ontario 3) New Brunswick 4) Nova Scotia 5) British Columbia 6) Manitoba 7) Alberta 8) Saskatchewan 9) Prince Edward Island 10) Newfoundland and Labrador *Source: The Fraser Institute

P.E.I. along with Manitoba and Saskatchewan has the fewest medical resources among the provinces.

Prince Edward Island is also among the provinces that provide the fewest services as well as the longest delays for specialist appointments, surgery, diagnostic imaging, and pharmaceutical approvals.

"This study reveals how provinces have struck different balances between health expenditures and health system performance,'' said Esmail.

"For example, Quebec is able to offer its residents a relatively high-value health care system at a low cost, while Newfoundland and Labrador does its residents a disservice by providing only average value at a very high cost. Low-cost, high-value B.C. and high-cost, high-value Alberta fall in the middle of the pack in terms of overall value for money.''

He adds that on a national basis, Canada's health care system provides very poor value for money in comparison with universal-access health care systems in other developed nations.

"However, some Canadian provinces clearly provide better value for money in health care than others,'' he said.

Organizations: Fraser Institute

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Quebec Ontario New Brunswick Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta

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Recent comments

  • Chucker
    January 16, 2013 - 09:40

    I could not find this in the hard copy of the paper today. Nor has the story been updated with a government response. Are we still waiting for Doug Currie to get his act together. Whatever happened to Ministers knowing what was going on in their portfolios and answering immediately to questions?

    • Any journalism to follow up this story?
      January 16, 2013 - 16:37

      I do hope the Ghizette follows up on this story. Not likely though, is it?

    • Chucker
      January 17, 2013 - 09:25

      Well the Ghizette (I love that truism) came through in print today. And with the silly remarks of Dougie Currie to boot. But the full story should go up on the site. Especially since Dougie used the terms of a poster ( below) for his diversion. Let us see it, Ghizette guys.

  • don
    January 16, 2013 - 08:35

    and to think dizzy had said health care is a PRIORITY with "HIS" government. another line of crap from a bully. but what goes around comes around. dizzy your family is learning that now. so dizzy things are only starting you treat people like your property it will come back and BITE you and your gang.

  • Time to stand and be counted . . .
    January 16, 2013 - 07:59

    Say what you will about the Fraser Institute, at least they apply accountability systems that generate reports that can be interpreted. Our government generates reports that are more fantasy than fact, more amusing than useful. This is how Plan B got off the ground, and how due diligence in other governmental matters gets lost in political posturing. We live in hard times is the Ghizian mantra, but the reality is that more that by having no sense of priorities, we're creating hard times for each other.

  • John W. A. Curtis
    January 15, 2013 - 20:50

    P.E.I. wants to have theraputic courts based on P.E.I.s health care system, Treating people with addiction and mental health problems when P.E.I. is one from the bottom. Now Islanders know why we have no Provincial Ombudsman.

    January 15, 2013 - 17:09

    I agree with "COMPARING APPLES TO ORANGES". Most of the "Specialists" here in Ontario are in the Greater Toronto Area so if you live in Sudbury for example, with a population greater than PEI, you would have to drive to Toronto, Ottawa, London or Hamilton to find a Sick Kids Hospital. It just happens to be in the same province. The closest one would be Toronto which is over 4 hours away, the others being 5-6 hours.

    • then make applesauce & marmelade
      January 16, 2013 - 07:24

      No different than here in the Maritimes. Our specialists are located in Halifax where there are big hospitals and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine. There are a few others in Moncton and Saint John which have larger hospitals and a few specialized clinics, but the majority are in Halifax, which is the largest population centre and where the big tertiary care hospitals and the medical school are located. PEI will never ever ever be able to afford, let alone attract, enough of the various medical specialists to be self-sufficient. We don't have enough taxpayers to pay for that, let alone enough patients with various forms of special ailments and conditions to warrant having at least one member of every medical specialty. PEI is like a county in Ontario when you compare us to the Maritimes. Halifax is like Toronto when you compare it to the Maritimes. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is that I have a health card that is only good within PEI's red shores and I need to beg borrow and plead with my doctor or with the idiot hick bureaucrats at Health PEI and the Government of PEI if I should want to see a specialist in Halifax or Moncton or Saint John. This entire region should have ONE HEALTH SYSTEM. Therefore this entire region should be ONE PROVINCE.

  • AnotherIslander
    January 15, 2013 - 17:05

    Health care is provincially funded and to "rely or expect " other provinces to provide islanders with services that we lack comes at a cost ( to islanders and the province), and the time to which you can get a consultation is not always timely. I am not surprised that we sit near the bottom!! We are small, but that doesnt mean our quality needs to drop. WE have excellent physicians, nurses and allied health, but all working with constraints. I dont think replacing doctors with nurse practioners or RN's with LPN or LPN's with PCW's is the answer... do we not see the trend here???? we are cutting the level of service down to make it "cheaper"!! That , for certain will come at a cost. I dont pretend to know the answers but I know that the government could be doing a better job at nurturing an ESSENTIAL service... just sayn'

  • John W. A. curtis
    January 15, 2013 - 17:03

    I need an eye operation. My former eye doctor sent me to an eye specialist who couldn't do the eye operation. The specialist recommended me to an eye surgeon. My former eye doctor could have recommended me to the eye surgeon in the first place. You the taxpayer paid for the eye specialist. This is how delays are created and costs are increased

  • lol
    January 15, 2013 - 16:59

    So then why is ghiz the head of the "healthcare thinktank" for the country. obviously he doesn't know what he is doing. I say fire him from all government positions no need to make the other provinces suffer because we voted in a corrupt little boy.

  • Comparing Apples to Oranges
    January 15, 2013 - 15:42

    Comparing provinces of significantly different sizes and different geographics is like comparing apples to oranges. With a population of less than $150,000, it is impractical for PEI to have specialists in all different areas as there is not the patient base to support all these different specialties. When other provinces have large cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, etc. it makes sense that they would have more health care providers with more specialities. Would be interesting to see how places such as Northern Ontario or Northern Quebec would rate if they were broken out separately.

    • then make applesauce & marmelade
      January 15, 2013 - 16:44

      I agree.... a province of millions of people should not be able to be compared to a province of 145,000 people. My solution is to get rid of the province with 145,000 people and merge it with other small provinces to form a province that has a tax base that could actually afford a modern health care system. I'll be blunt - I like things to be shaken up. I thrive for change. PEI needs to change and the best way to do that is to merge it with NS and NB and turf the few thousand triplicated bureaucrats. With a province of 1.8 million, the Maritimes would have a tax base that could afford health care and could certainly manage it better than we do right now in PEI. All PEI does well at is funnelling federal equalization money into party patronage - for the supporters of the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives. Real value for public services is an afterthought.

  • johnny cash
    January 15, 2013 - 15:40

    I'm with moe on this. Why do we pay a "minister" for a health portfolio for if we're paying a board to make his decisions? Too top heavy. Cut from the top and let the professionals do their jobs!

  • don
    January 15, 2013 - 15:36

    talk about a brown nose government. the only way they got in was to pay for the votes. i would not hire one of them to clean out a crap house. they only help the needy rich. but then what can you expect most liberal government is the same help the rich a make the poor into SLAVES.

  • moe
    January 15, 2013 - 14:50

    Yes but look at all the high paid patronage jobs they offer at health PEI.

  • Always an Islander
    January 15, 2013 - 14:40

    Unfortunately, statistics can't give you an accurate picture. I am orginally from Prince Edward Island and now live in Ontario. Statistics are piling all of Ontario into the same category as Prince Edward Island. Ontario's population is almost 13 million whereby Prince Edward Island has less than 150 thousand. PEI has 7 hospitals, and if we calculate per capita, Ontario should have over 600. We have 155. Ontario is a large province and sometimes people have to drive 5 or 6 hours to get to some of the services offered here. It only takes a maximum of 4 hours to get to Halifax , 3 hours to Moncton, from the farthest points in PEI. The city I live in has 175 thousand people with 1 hospital. The QEH in Ch'town is larger than our hospital. My whole point is that the statistics have to take a lot more into consideration.

    • Garth Staples
      January 16, 2013 - 12:54

      Guess you haven't been 'home ' for a while.

      January 16, 2013 - 17:28

      PEI has 7 hospitals, and if we calculate per capita, Ontario should have over 600. We have 155....PEI is a province of excess. Using your figures,PEI has 27 MLAs so therefore Ontario should have in excess of 2500 MLAS'. PEI doesn't need 7 hospitals that don't actually offer any medical services.They are just staging grounds.At the two "Hospitals in Alberton and O'Leary, neither one offer any medical proceedures. You can have a baby in the back seat of a police cruiser, but you can't have it in either hospital.People are now holding rallys to "Save our hospital", save it for what? It doesn't function as a hospital, can't even offer emergency room service. There is more non medical staff at the western then there are medical. It's time to close them both and open some kind of medical clinic that actually works.

    January 15, 2013 - 14:03

    Mr Robert Ghiz, What do you have to say about this?

    • Chet
      January 15, 2013 - 15:51

      You know I wish you had not asked that because our deluded Premier has a real habit of saying -- "the Fraser Institute is a right wing think tank" - when they rank him last in fiscal management every year. I am not sure I can stand hearing him chime out that one again. I will say for sure if Doug Currie comes up with that line as a a diversion I will really and truly empty the contents of my stomach. Have mercy on the internal organs of your voters, Doug. Please do not say that line.