Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada
Skip main navigation menuSkip secondary navigation menuHomeFrançaisContact UsHelpSearch the websiteCanada Site
The DailyCanadian StatisticsCommunity ProfilesProducts and servicesHome
CensusCanadian StatisticsCommunity ProfilesProducts and servicesOther links

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Media Room Search The Daily View or print The Daily in PDF format. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader The Daily archives Latest release from the Labour Force Survey Latest release from the Consumer Price Index Recently released products Latest economic indicators Release dates Get a FREE subscription to The Daily Information about The Daily The Daily
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Access to health care services

January to December 2005 Previous release

The new report, Access to Health Care Services in Canada, provides updated results of the experiences of patients waiting for care, based on 12 full months of data for 2005. Preliminary results from the first six months of data collection were reported in The Daily on January 31, 2006.

The updated report confirms that waiting times remain the number one barrier for Canadians who had difficulties in accessing specialized health care services last year.

Between 2003 and 2005, median waiting times for all specialized services under study remained relatively stable at between three and four weeks. (The median is the point where exactly one half of waiting times are higher and one half lower.) Most individuals reported they received care within three months, which was also relatively unchanged.

While most individuals who accessed a specialized service did not experience any difficulties, some did. An estimated 2.8 million people aged 15 or older visited a medical specialist in 2005. Of these, 19% reported that they faced difficulties accessing care.

Of the 1.6 million people who reported that they had non-emergency surgery, 13% reported that they had difficulty accessing care. Similarly, 13% of the 2.2 million people who accessed a diagnostic test also reported difficulties.

Data provided in this report on access to health care services are based on a sub-sample of the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, which focused on access to specialized services and first contact services. The specialized services include visits to a specialist for a new illness or condition, non-emergency surgery and selected diagnostic tests.

Selected information is provided at the provincial level, thus allowing for a comprehensive assessment of access to health care across Canada.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3226.

The report Access to Health Care Services in Canada, January to December 2005, Vol. 1 (82-575-XIE, free) is now available on our website. From the Our Products and Services page, under Browse our Free Internet Publications, choose Health.

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Claudia Sanmartin (613-951-6059; fax: 613-951-3959;, Health Analysis and Measurement Group.

For more information regarding access to the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey data, contact Ingrid Ledrou (613-951-6567; fax: 613-951-4198;, Health Statistics Division.

Home | Search | Contact Us | Français Return to top of page
Date Modified: 2006-07-11 Important Notices