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Name
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Have Has a Regular Doctor Health Care Provider
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Short/Other Names
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Percentage of Population With a Regular Medical DoctorHealth Care Provider

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Description
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The percentage of the population that reported having a regular

medical doctor

health care provider

A regular health care provider is defined as a health professional that a person sees or talks to when he or she needs care or advice about health. This can include a family doctor or general practitioner, a medical specialist or a nurse practitioner.

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Interpretation
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Higher percentages are desirable.
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HSP Framework Dimension
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Health System Outputs: Access to comprehensive, high-quality health services

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Areas of Need
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Getting Better

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Geographic Coverage
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All provinces/territories

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Reporting Level/Disaggregation
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National, Province/Territory, Region

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Indicator Results
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Accessing Indicator Results on Your Health System: In Depth

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Name
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Have Has a Regular Doctor Health Care Provider
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Short/Other Names
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Percentage of Population With a Regular Medical DoctorHealth Care Provider

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<div role="button" class="expandableTitle" aria-controls="descAndCalRegion">Indicator Description and Calculation</div>
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Description
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The percentage of the population that reported having a regular

medical doctor

health care provider

A regular health care provider is defined as a health professional that a person sees or talks to when he or she needs care or advice about health. This can include a family doctor or general practitioner, a medical specialist or a nurse practitioner.

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Calculation: Description
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Number of people who report Population age 12 and older who reported that they have a regular medical doctor health care provider divided by the number of survey respondentstotal population age 12 and older

Population estimates are calculated using survey weightsbased on weighted survey responses to reflect the total population.

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Place of residence

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Calculation: Type of Measurement
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Percentage or proportion

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Calculation: Adjustment Applied
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None

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Calculation: Method of Adjustment
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Not applicable

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Description:
Survey respondents Population age 12 and older (based on weighted survey responses)
Exclusions:
1. Non-response categories ("refusal, " "don't don’t know " and " not stated") are excluded as of 2009.

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Description:
Respondents Population age 12 and older who reported that they have a regular medical doctorhealth care provider (based on weighted survey respondents)

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<div role="button" class="expandableTitle" aria-controls="backgroundRegion">Background, Interpretation and Benchmarks</div>
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Rationale
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For On a daily basis, many Canadians , the first point of contact for medical care is their doctorreceive health care services, usually through nurse practitioners, general practitioners or family physicians. Having a regular doctor may be associated with more comprehensive care, and improving access to primary care physicians has been a policy objective for most jurisdictions. Being without a regular medical doctor is associated with fewer visits to general practitioners or specialists, who can play a role in the early screening and treatment of medical conditionshealth care provider is an important source of disease prevention and management. Factors affecting whether one a person has a regular medical doctor health care provider include age and sex. In 20112016, the most common reason respondents gave for not having a regular doctor health care provider was that they had not looked for one.

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Interpretation
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Higher percentages are desirable.

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HSP Framework Dimension
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Health System Outputs: Access to comprehensive, high-quality health services

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Areas of Need
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Getting Better

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Targets/Benchmarks
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Not applicable

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References
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Canadian Institute for Health Information. Experiences With Primary Health Care in Canada. Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2009.2016.

Statistics Canada. Primary health care providers, 2016. Accessed January 10, 2018.

Commonwealth Fund. International Health Policy Center. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Topics/International-Health-Policy/Bar.aspx?ind=165. Updated 2013. Accessed August 6, 2013Survey Data Center. Accessed January 10, 2018.

Statistics Canada. Access to a regular medical doctor 2011. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2012001/article/11656-eng.htm. Updated June 19, 2012. Accessed May 17, 2013.St-Pierre M, Béland Y. Mode effects in the Canadian Community Health Survey: A Comparison of CAPI and CATI. 2004 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association Meeting . 2004. Toronto, ON : American Statistical AssociationCanadian Community Health Survey — Annual component (CCHS). Accessed January 22, 2018.

Canadian Research Data Centre Network. The Canadian Community Health Survey: What’s New in the 2015 Cycle? [PPT presentation]. January 25, 2017.

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<div role="button" class="expandableTitle" aria-controls="availabilityRegion">Availability of Data Sources and Results</div>
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Data Sources
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CCHS, Statistics Canada, Commonwealth Fund (2013)Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 105-0509: Canadian health characteristics, two year period estimates, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces, territories and health regions, CANSIM (database); 2016 International Health Policy Survey, The Commonwealth Fund.

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Available Data Years
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Type of Year:
Calendar
First Available Year:
2003 2015
Last Available Year:
2014 2016

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Geographic Coverage
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All provinces/territories

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National, Province/Territory, Region

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Update Frequency
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Every year

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Indicator Results
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Web Tool:
Your Health System: In Depth
RLURL:
Accessing Indicator Results on Your Health System: In Depth

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Updates
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Not applicable

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Caveats and Limitations
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Regional-level results for Nova Scotia are not available. In 2014, the Health Authorities Act passed by the Nova Scotia legislature consolidated the 10 district health authorities into 2 (1 provincial health authority with 4 management zones, and the IWK Health Centre). Data for the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) data was not available for the new health authority boundaries. The data year reflects the CCHS survey cycle. Prior to 2007, data for the CCHS was collected every 2 years, involving a sample of 130,000 respondents. In 2007, the survey transitioned to a yearly collection cycle, involving is collected yearly from a sample of approximately 65,000 respondents. CANSIM Table 105-0509 presents estimates from 2-year combined data and features estimates for all provinces and territories as well as for health regions. The 2-year combined data has higher precision (less variability) than annual estimates; annual CCHS estimates are not available at the health region level.

Some values have data quality flags that indicate "use with caution" or "suppressed" due to high coefficients of variation: health regions with small populations and results disaggregated by age group or sex within small regions.

The 2-year combined data is less current than annual estimates but has higher precision (less variability). Users should refer to the annual CANSIM Table 105-0501 as the primary source for the most current estimates from the CCHS , as well as to obtain data from previous years. However, where data quality flags indicate suppression (F) or higher variability (E), the 2-year CANSIM Table 105-0502 should be used. The CCHS covers the population age 12 and older living in the 10 provinces and 3 territories. Excluded from the survey's coverage are

  • Persons living on reserves and other Aboriginal settlements in the provinces
  • Full-time members of the Canadian Forces
  • Children age 12 to 17 living in foster care
  • The institutionalized population
  • Persons living in 2 Quebec health regions: Nunavik
Health
  • Region and Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James
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  • Region


Altogether, these exclusions represent less than 3% of the target population. In the North, the frame for the CCHS covers 92% of the target population in Yukon, 96% in the Northwest Territories and 92% in Nunavut. Before 2013, coverage in Nunavut was 71%.Canadian population age 12 and older.

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Trending Issues
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In 2005 and 2003, the indicator in French included only "médecin de famille." Starting in 2007, this concept was widened to "médecin régulier," which includes "médecin de famille."As a result of a redesign in 2015, the CCHS has a new collection strategy and sample design. For this reason, Statistics Canada does not recommend making comparisons with CCHS data from 2001 to 2014.

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Comments
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A low percentage may be related to the use of options other than a doctor's office. In the territories, a nurse practitioner is often used as the first point of medical contact, rather than a medical doctor.

Data on the use of different types of regular places of care is limited, as this is not tracked in the CCHS. In 2008, according to the Canadian Survey of Experiences With Primary Health Care, 91% of adults reported that they have a regular place they usually go to if they are sick or need advice about their health. Most reported this to be a doctor's office (clinic or practice) (78%), while 17% went to a walk-in clinic, centre local de services communautaires (CLSC) or community health centre (CHC).

Where use of clinics, CLSCs and CHCs as regular places of care is high, a relatively low percentage having a regular medical doctor might not reflect poor access to primary care.

Individuals may also have a nurse practitioner as their regular primary care provider and not have a regular medical doctor.

An age-standardized estimate is also reported for the provinces/territories (using the direct method, standard Canadian population 1996) in CANSIM Table 105-0503.

Indicator results are also available on

This indicator is calculated based on 2 years of pooled data from 2015 and 2016.

Data for Ontario’s local health integration networks and British Columbia’s regional health authorities was received from Statistics Canada through custom tabulation requests:

Source: Statistics Canada. Selected CCHS Indicators for Ontario by Local Health Integration Network, 2015–2016. February 27, 2018. Reproduced and distributed on an "as is" basis with the permission of Statistics Canada.

Source: Statistics Canada. Selected CCHS Indicators for British Columbia by Regional Health Authority, 2015–2016. March 12, 2018. Reproduced and distributed on an "as is" basis with the permission of Statistics Canada.

Indicator results are also available in

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