The proportion of Ottawa residents with a regular doctor has improved in recent years
Family physicians deliver care across a broad spectrum of needs, and often play an important part in health promotion and illness prevention. While the many forces of change in the health care system have affected their role, having a family doctor remains important to Canadians. Based on a 2011 survey, respondents who have a family doctor are significantly more likely to express confidence in the health care system.
The proportion of Ottawa residents who have a regular medical doctor increased by 4% between 2009 and 2014, to almost 91%. This is close to par with the Ontario average, and almost 6% higher than the Canadian average.
- Ekos Research Associates. Shifting Public Perceptions of Doctors and Health Care. February 2011
- Rosser, W. Sustaining the four principles of family medicine in Canada. Can Fam Physician. 2006 Oct 10; 52(10): 1191–1192.
- Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 105-0501
The performance of Ottawa’s three main general hospitals varies considerably across indicators
The Canadian Health System Performance Measurement Framework uses a range of meaningful indicators to assess hospital performance. But it is important to note that it can be challenging to make fair comparisons since some factors that can affect performance may be beyond the control of individual institutions. For example, teaching hospitals -- which in Ottawa include L'Hôpital Montfort and the Ottawa Hospital -- may benefit in relation to some aspects of quality of care, but are generally more expensive to run.
Among Ottawa’s three main general hospitals, Queensway-Carleton's performance is strong on four of the five key selected indicators compared to Ontario and Canadian averages. For two indicators -- sepsis and hospital deaths after major surgery -- the Montfort performs the best of all three hospitals. However, it has significantly higher wait times in emergency prior to physician assessment, and for surgery following hip fracture. The Ottawa Hospital has higher rates of in-hospital sepsis, and higher costs of hospital stay, than provincial and national averages.
- Canadian Institute for Health Information 2014. Your Health System. Accessed April 11, 2016
Ottawa has a comparatively low rate of preventable hospitalizations
Preventable hospitalizations (also known as "ambulatory care sensitive conditions") are those that might have been avoided with timely and effective primary care treatment. Many incidences relate to chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma.
Between 2007 and 2013 inclusive, preventable hospitalization rates in Ottawa have been very significantly lower than the Canadian and Ontario averages. Rates for the Champlain LHIN fall in between. Over this same period, there have been impressive declines at every level.
The preventable hospitalization rate for the lowest earning 20% of Ontario's population is almost 3 times greater than that for the highest earning 20%. Reasons may include population differences in vulnerabilities to chronic diseases; in approaches to managing such diseases; and/or in the way health care services are used. Differences in access to or quality of primary health care are likely not a key factor.
- Canadian Institute for Health Information 2014. Health Indicators Interactive Tool. Accessed April 11, 2016.
- Jason Disano, Julie Goulet, Nazeem Muhajarine, Cordell Neudorf, Jean Harvey. Socio-economic status and rates of hospital admission for chronic disease in urban Canada. Canadian Nurse. January 2010.
Hospitals make up the largest share of LHIN-funded services
The role of Ontario's fourteen Local Health Integration Networks is to plan, integrate and fund hospital, home and community services within their respective regions. Each LHIN's Board of Directors is made up of members from communities across its region. Collectively LHINs manage over half of the province's health care budget. There are some significant areas of health care that do not fall under the LHIN mandate, including primary care (e.g., family doctors).
In common with all other LHINs, by far the largest proportion of the funding directed by the Champlain LHIN goes to its 20 hospitals. And this proportion may increase with the planned major rebuild and expansion of the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital. The next largest recipients are the LHIN's 61 long-term care homes, and home care services (via the Community Care Access Centre). The LHIN's eleven community health centres receive the smallest proportion of funding.
- Ontario's LHINs. Environmental Scan 2016-2019 Integrated Health Service Plans. 2015
- Champlain LHIN 2014. Introduction. Accessed April 11, 2016.
- City of Ottawa 2015. Community & Social Services 2015 Budget Briefing Note. Accessed April 11, 2016.
The Champlain LHIN's overall performance is comparatively fair
Each of Ontario's fourteen LHINs monitors how it is performing on 15 provincially mandated indicators. These focus primarily on access to and quality of hospital services including emergency department wait times, repeat visits to the emergency department, wait times for selected surgeries and diagnostic procedures, and readmissions for selected clinical conditions.
For most of these indicators, there are negotiated LHIN-specific targets as well as provincial targets representing "ideal" levels of performance. The Champlain LHIN meets its targets on 8 of the 15 indicators, which is more than most other LHINs. However, it is not among the top three LHINs for any of the 15 indicators. Two areas of relatively poor performance for our LHIN are wait times for cardiac bypass, and for in-home services.
- 2015 Annual Report of the Office of the Audior General of Ontario. LHINs - Local Health Integration Networks.