June 14, 2005
Even in Canada’s Universal Health Plan, Wealth Effects Hospitalization
Canada's universal health care plan is designed to provide equal access to care, independent of the patient's income level. A study in Health Services Research examined this issue, looking at patients with conditions for which timely care in doctors'offices has traditionally been thought to prevent expensive hospitalization for more serious consequences.
There are nine such health problems, called Ambulatory Care Sensitive (ACS) conditions. Because outpatient care for ACSs could prevent the onset of an illness, control problems that arise during an episode, or manage a chronic disease, researchers use these conditions to assess whether patients are getting access to the kinds of care which may both reduce their disease burden and reduce the overall costs of their treatment.
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