Ontario moves ahead of the pack (box 1) and is the "clear winner" in an overall Canada Health Consumer Index that rates provincial performance across 5 sub-disciplines - medical outcomes, primary care, wait times, patient rights and "generosity," i.e., range of services provided - using 26 indicators, such as access to a family doctor, heart infarct mortality rates, cancer 5-year survival rates and childhood vaccinations.The 2 public policy think tanks also found a surprising correlation between spending levels and wait times, with the 3 provinces with the worst wait times (Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan) spending more than the national average on their health care systems, while the 3 provinces with the lowest wait times (Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia) spent less. "These results should make it clear that a province's ability to provide timely consultations, diagnoses and treatments is not dependent upon its ability to spend huge amounts of money on healthcare."
News For the record Young children remain primary victims of malaria Canadian disparities in W hile worldwide access to access to health care malaria control interventions improved through 2006, there T he health care systems of British were still a staggering 247 million people Columbia and Nova Scotia rate estimated to have become infected with highest in a comparison of med- the parasite, which continues to kill ical outcomes, while Newfoundland about 900 000 annually, primarily chil- trailed the provincial pack, according to dren under the age of 5, according to a a study by Winnipeg-based Frontier new World Health Organization (WHO) Centre for Public Policy and Europe’s report (www.who.int). Health Consumer Powerhouse. The disease remained endemic in 109 Reuters / Corinne Dufka But Ontario moves ahead of the pack countries, including 45 in Africa, on (box 1) and is the “clear winner” in an which just 3% of children in need have overall Canada Health Consumer Index access to artemisinin-based combination that rates provincial performance across therapy, according the WHO’s World 5 sub-disciplines — medical outcomes, malaria report 2008. primary care, wait times, patient rights Some 80% of the malaria cases oc- and “generosity,” i.e., range of services curred in 14 African countries and over Mothers and their malaria- infected children await treat- provided — using 26 indicators, such as half of those were in Nigeria, the Democ- ment at a Kisii district hospital access to a family doctor, heart infarct ratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, United 400 km west of Nairobi, Kenya. mortality rates, cancer 5-year survival Republic of Tanzania and Kenya. Other rates and childhood vaccinations. world hot spots included India, Sudan, The four lowest ranked systems Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan. were Newfoundland in tenth, followed Despite pockets of progress, Africa still lags in malaria control measures by Saskatchewan, Quebec and Mani- such as mosquito nets, often falling well behind the 80% target sought by the toba. But authors stress there were World Health Assembly for 4 interventions by 2010: insecticide-treated nets only fractional differences between the for people at risk; appropriate antimalarial drugs for probable and confirmed bottom 4, who contend “closely for malaria cases; indoor residual spraying for infected households; and intermit- last place.” tent preventive treatment in pregnancy. For example, just 26% of people in The 2 public policy think tanks also 37 countries are now
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