Two-Out-Of-Three Canadians Satisfied With Access To Healthcare But See Room For Improvement


Two-out-of-three Canadians feel satisfied about their overall access to healthcare, according to a new report from Accenture, which identifies opportunities to improve care delivery.

The report, “All In for Transforming Canadian Healthcare,” is based on a survey of more than 1,800 Canadians. The survey found one-in-four Canadians still find it difficult to navigate the healthcare system including finding the right medical facility and treatment, who to contact for a specific concern and the treatment options available to them.

When it comes to access to healthcare providers (e.g., a family doctor, emergency department, or specialists), the survey found Canadians are generally satisfied, but satisfaction levels decrease for people living in remote areas and people with a chronic condition. Canadians that are unsatisfied are most concerned with access to health and wellness coaching, such as mental health support, diet and nutrition programs, and navigation to timely information on publicly funded health services and insurance coverage.

“The pandemic has created an opportunity to reimagine and improve upon how we deliver healthcare in Canada,” said Jimmy Yang, managing director at Accenture who leads its health industry practice in Canada. “But this requires a mindset of putting the person, rather than the system, at the centre, a dedication to innovating on all fronts and better use of existing healthcare resources, such as pharmacies and allied health, to deliver certain types of care. Canadians deserve better access to care, and digital tools and technology can better enable this.”

Necessity is the mother of invention

The report notes that the need for greater safety precautions during the pandemic led to new ways of delivering care, as well as opportunities for public and private players to play a direct role in the provision and improvement of care, such as through virtual appointments and additional digitally enabled services.

In fact, the research found 80 per cent of Canadians identified online booking and scheduling, health services in local pharmacies, and telehealth services as the top services that they want to see remain after the pandemic.

The pandemic also highlighted important gaps in the current model of Canadian healthcare, including a shortage of digital tools and a reliance on dated processes and systems that aren’t efficient or easy to use. These factors, coupled with Canada’s aging and complex patient population, put immense pressure on the healthcare system to meet rapidly changing demands more efficiently while thinking about system capacity with a new lens, the report found.

Canada has the expertise and financial resources to deliver world-class public healthcare that improves access, experience and outcomes for all communities,” said Yang. “The only way to do this sustainably is for healthcare leaders, government and industry to work together and put the individual at the centre of everything, to transform how Canadians experience healthcare.”

According to the report, 72 per cent of Canadians are comfortable with the private sector playing an increased role in the healthcare system, especially if the result is to improve the services available to them. At the same time, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of Canadians said they would not pay for healthcare beyond what the government provides. The report notes that partnerships between the public and private sectors could improve options for better access to care that is closer to home.

Opportunities to improve the healthcare system

The research identified four key improvement areas to create a better, more personalized and efficient care experience for Canadians:

Focus on personalization: Three-quarters (75 per cent) of Canadians said they would allow their healthcare provider to share their personal health information, especially if it results in better care for them, such as targeted advice on medication and treatment based on their personal genetics.

Improve in-person and virtual access to care: Health services that are closer to home can enhance access to care, such as through pharmacies. In fact, about two-thirds (66 per cent) of Canadians say they are comfortable receiving care, such as administration of injectable drugs and vaccinations, from a pharmacy. Additionally, virtual care, which has increased dramatically during the pandemic, can help overcome access hurdles by bringing clinical services to the palm of a patient’s hand. The research found 78 per cent of respondents who used virtual care or telehealth, felt comfortable or neutral about their experience and if given the choice, 44 per cent of respondents might choose a virtual visit over in-person in the future.

Increase patient-provider engagement: More than half (54 per cent) of Canadians tend to engage with their provider only when they need care and conversely, 58 per cent of providers mostly engage with patients if the patient initiates contact. There is a need for a more proactive and preventative approach, and only 15 per cent of patients said their provider offers such an approach.

Refine investment in digital health tools: Canadians are comfortable with digital tools when they are used for administrative tasks, like appointment scheduling and reminders, but far less comfortable when such tools, including artificial intelligence (AI), are used for diagnosis or treatment.

Accenture Health harnesses the power of technology and human ingenuity to help clients improve access, experience, and outcomes in healthcare. With the help of our innovative, technology-enabled services, clients are delivering effective and personalized experiences that humanize healthcare for all. For more information, visit

SOURCE Accenture


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here