A quarter of Canadians over the age of 45 will have trouble accessing healthcare in 2020, study shows

In the fall of 2020, 25% of Canadians between the ages of 45 and 85 had problems accessing health services during the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Talk to your doctor if needed, according to new research.

“In the first year of the pandemic, Canadian adults reported significant unmet medical need. The results of this study have important implications for health equity,” said Feb. 14. The study, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), said:

Entitled “Unmet Healthcare Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study in the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging,” the study was conducted between April and December 2020. Considering 23,972 individuals who participated in a study on aging, we surveyed individuals about their healthcare experience from September to December 2020.

The survey asked three questions to determine unmet healthcare needs. “Have you missed a hospital visit or needed treatment since March 1, 2020?”; experienced barriers?”

If participants answered “yes” to any of the three unmet health care questions, follow-up questions were asked to determine which services were difficult to access, why they did not go to the hospital, or to see a doctor. We have clarified the reasons for not taking it and the barriers we faced in accessing the test. SARS-CoV-2 infection.

A survey of participants found that immigrants and individuals with chronic illnesses were more likely to have trouble accessing health care services and were less likely to visit a hospital or see a doctor. rice field.

Chronic diseases included asthma. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; other chronic lung diseases; diabetes; hypertension; heart disease; cancer;

In 2020, COVID-19 led to cancellations of elective surgeries and in-person appointments, and an increase in virtual visits, according to research. Emergency department visits decreased by 24% for him, and inpatient admissions decreased by 10% for him. Public health measures have disrupted home care and primary care services, it said.

“Unmet healthcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic can have severe implications for patient care, with potentially lasting consequences,” the study said. “Self-perceived unmet needs reflect access to and performance in the healthcare system. Unmet needs depend not only on the use of services, but also on their accessibility and acceptability. .”

The study found that people experienced varying degrees of difficulty depending on their race, gender, age, education, income level, region of residence and immigration status.

For example, older people have less access to health care, and people on lower incomes are less likely to go to a hospital or see a doctor when needed. Female and non-white participants were also less likely to access medical care.

“Women were 13 percent more likely to indicate that they had not sought hospital or doctor visits,” she said, adding that non-white participants were less likely to have regular primary care physicians.

People who lived in Ontario reported having the most difficult access to healthcare and COVID testing. In that state, older people tended to use virtual visits and were more likely to abandon doctor visits. The Quebec resident was most likely not to go to the hospital or see a doctor, but she did not struggle with her other two outcomes compared with other regions.

4% of participants reported problems getting tested for SARS-CoV-2.