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Canada: Higher Female Death Rates Linked to Health-Care Wait Times

By: PanAm Post Staff - May 23, 2014, 8:57 am

The ever-increasing wait times for health care in Canada may have played a strong role in the deaths of 44,273 women between 1993 and 2009, according to a recent study released by the Fraser Institute, a classical liberal policy institute based in Canada.

The Effect of Wait Times on Mortality in Canada” studies the relationship between extensive wait times for vital medical care and mortality rates in Canada. They find that when wait times between a referral (from a general practitioner) and treatment increase, the rate of female mortality likewise increases.

The estimated 44,273 deaths between 1993 and 2009 make up 2.5 percent of all female deaths in Canada during that timeframe. On the other hand, no significant link between wait times and male mortality rates was found in the study, puzzling researchers.

To fix the matter at hand, Nadeem Esmail, the author and senior fellow with the Fraser Institute noted that “countries with relatively short health care wait times rely to varying degrees on market incentives and private competition, such as cost-sharing and competing private hospitals, within the universal health care system. Policymakers who cling to flawed policies, and argue against reform with rhetoric rather than fact, should consider whether Canadians who die while waiting for health care are being sacrificed to ideology”.

Source: Fraser Institute.