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A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research

April 2014

Perceived barriers to primary care among western Canadians with chronic conditions

by Paul E. Ronksley, Claudia Sanmartin, David J.T. Campbell, Robert G. Weaver, G. Michael Allan, Kerry A. McBrien, Marcello Tonelli, Braden J. Manns, Deirdre Hennessy and Brenda R. Hemmelgarn

About a third of Canadians have chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The care of patients with chronic conditions has become a major focus in health services research and public health policy, and the direct costs of managing these conditions exceed $40 billion a year. Even so, not all Canadians with chronic conditions receive the care they require.

Trends in out-of-pocket health care expenditures in Canada, by household income, 1997 to 2009

by Claudia Sanmartin, Deirdre Hennessy, Yuqian Lu and Michael Robert Law

The private sector plays an active role in financing health care services and products in Canada, most notably in the areas of prescription medication, dental care and private insurance. Private sector expenditures are derived primarily from private insurance and out-of-pocket expenditures (excluding insurance premiums) and totaled $56.9 billion in 2010, which represented about 30% of total health care spending. This percentage has remained relatively unchanged for several decades. Since the late 1980s, however, as a share of private expenditures on health care, out-of-pocket spending dropped from 58% to 49%.

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