Is Canadian Health Care really available to everyone? Recent research reveals critical and pressing disparities between those who can access free health care, and those who cannot
Frontline Health Research
The frontlines of health are extensive. They can be on busy city streets, just around the corner in our towns and suburbs, and in remote spots in Canada's far north. Add to that the remarkable diversity of the people who occupy the frontlines and you have healthcare barriers and opportunities that can be difficult to understand, much less categorize. That is where research comes in.
Research is essential for both defining and overcoming the challenges on the frontlines of health. By systematically analyzing and understanding frontline issues through various research initiatives, Frontline Health can help governments and healthcare providers develop better solutions for our marginalized populations. And, in turn, reinforce Canadian leadership in this important field.
Frontiline Healthcare in Canada
The Frontline Health program partnered with the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) in June 2006 to research the state of the frontlines of health in Canada. We wanted to gain a better understanding of Canada's underserved and unserved populations, their needs, and the challenges of providing them with adequate and appropriate healthcare.
Frontline healthcare is the under-recognized, under-researched and untold side of the healthcare story in Canada. Research by the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) makes it clear that there are people throughout this country who are vulnerable, at-risk and marginalized, whose healthcare needs can and do go unmet. In spite of the generally high standard of living and the promise of universal access to quality healthcare in Canada, this report reveals critical and pressing disparities. It also identifies specific, vulnerable populations who suffer a burden of illness and distress greater than other residents of Canada.
CPRN's findings include some stark statistics. Only 17% of family physicians choose to practice in rural and remote locations despite the fact that 30% of Canadians live there. In our cities, despite the presence of more plentiful resources, mainstream healthcare is not well equipped to deal with the particular needs of communities cut off by language, culture, poverty or lifestyle.
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