In 2019, 14.5% of Canadians had difficulty accessing a healthcare provider. This percentage was a 2.3% reduction from 2015. Fast forward to 2022, and reports indicate that the country will see a further reduction by the end of December. Healthcare is a crucial part of life, and lacking it can result in many problems for people and the country. The primary reasons are personal limitations and other notable barriers. Below is a discussion on a few more.
Healthcare staffing shortages
In the first quarter of 2022, Canadian news reported the closing down of some hospital units in the country. The reason was primarily due to the acute shortage of staff. The trend was first detected in 2012 but became more problematic in 2020 when the pandemic ravaged the world’s health system. Two years later, it appears the problem persists, resulting in some facilities limiting their services.
In an ideal world, it is unthinkable that a health facility would close down units because it lacks trained and experienced staff. Unfortunately, this is a reality that a developed nation like Canada is facing. The country’s health associations believe primary medicine is the most affected area. And unfortunately, this is an area of healthcare that over 70% of the population needs at any time. Statistics indicate that three out of four Canadians book a doctor’s appointment every day to seek primary healthcare. If this is anything to go by, it throws light on why the acute shortage of trained staff hinders proper healthcare access.
Lacking eligibility to access specific healthcare
Canada’s health system allows low-income people to access some hospital services. This is possible through a laid-down plan that publicly funds ‘some’ hospitals and physicians. Therefore, even though low-income individuals can access healthcare, they cannot benefit from all the services. Some healthcare services are totally out of reach unless they have enough money to pay for them. Indeed, it is a disturbing reality some people face.
This is like the US Medicaid program, designed to care for low-income groups. This system also has a cutoff point for who is eligible for Medicaid. People who earn less than $1,133 (individual) and $1,526 (couple) yearly qualify. Anything more than that does not make you eligible. In such cases, experts advise protecting your assets from Medicaid to become eligible. Hopefully, when Canada opens up its low-income health arrangement a bit more, many people can access better healthcare.
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Insufficient or total lack of insurance coverage
The lack of health insurance is often a stumbling block to many who need healthcare. It is why people take the hard but potentially harmful decision to stay away from accessing healthcare. Insufficient insurance coverage is almost like having none, especially when you cannot access but need specific services.
The world has a long way to go regarding healthcare delivery and accessibility. Both professionals and patients experience challenges, and knowing some of them will help you put measures in place or plan well to ensure you’re not too disadvantaged when you need it the most.
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