Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Congratulations, Health Canada!

Your $9.5 million campaign to make sure people have heard the term "primary health care" has been a success. That is, if you define success as improving simple awareness of the term by 10 per cent among responding Canadians.

The results of the latest survey show 70.7 per cent of respondents (an increase of 10.2 per cent over the 2004 survey) had seen or heard the term"primary health care" and 49.8 per cent of respondents (an increase of 9.9 percent) were able to provide an unaided definition that met at least a broad interpretation of the term.
Wow. What a feat! 70 per cent of Canadians can at least muster a vague description of primary health care.
The $9.5-million awareness strategy was designed to support provincialand territorial primary health care projects and related communicationsinitiatives. Messages focused on four pillars that underpin primary healthcare: health care providers working in teams; improved sharing of informationamong health care providers and patients; better access to the right servicesat the right time, and healthy living.

Even better, 17 per cent of respondents remember seeing one of the ads, at least they think they do (I don't). Of course it was really important for people to have this knowledge. Why?
"Our benchmark research showed there was a knowledge gap that needed to be bridged," she says. "The results of this latest survey indicate the NPHCAS campaign was a key element over this period in helping to heighten public awareness of primary health care, and its potential to help sustain our healthcare system and enhance the effectiveness of health care in Canada."
And so on and so forth, etc.

1 comment:

Al said...

Actually it can be confusing. Whereas "primary health care" refers to the first point of contact in our health care system with any health care provider, it does not mean first contact with a physician. That term is primary "medical" care. These terms have been debated, interchanged, and generally have confused us all. Originally, primary health care provider referred only to family doctors, general practitioners, some psychiatrists, etc; but only physicians. With the shortage of physicians and the push for the "team" approach (also known as "the cheapest person available to do the job"), the government redefined primary health care and relegated the physician contact to primary "medical" care. It was part of a pitch to convince the public that this was a good and reasonable way to go( and it may well be, but in the long run I think it will be more expensive and there will be less accountability).

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