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Indicator Metadata

Name Physicians per 100,000 Population, by Specialty
Short/Other Names

Not applicable

Description This indicator measures the number of physicians per 100,000 population by specialty.
Interpretation Higher ratios are desirable.
HSP Framework Dimension

Health System Inputs and Characteristics: Health system resources

Areas of Need

Not applicable

Geographic Coverage

All provinces/territories

Reporting Level/Disaggregation

National, Province/Territory, Region

Indicator Results

https://secure.cihi.ca/estore/productSeries.htm?locale=en&pc=PCC34

Identifying Information
Name Physicians per 100,000 Population, by Specialty
Short/Other Names

Not applicable

Indicator Description and Calculation
Description This indicator measures the number of physicians per 100,000 population by specialty.
Calculation: Description Number of active physicians divided by population estimates
Calculation: Geographic Assignment

Place of residence or service

Calculation: Type of Measurement

Rate - Per 100,000 population

Calculation: Adjustment Applied

None

Calculation: Method of Adjustment

Direct Standardization
Standard Population:
Population estimates: Statistics Canada, 2016 census and administrative data

Denominator

Description:
Population estimates from Statistics Canada for health regions are as of July 1 of the reference year (except for Health PEI), and population estimates for provinces, territories and Canada are as of December 31 of the reference year. Population estimates for both P.E.I. and Health PEI are as of December 31 of the given year.

Numerator

Description:
The number of active physicians (total physicians or family medicine physicians or specialist physicians) in a designated geographic area
Inclusions:
1. Active physicians in clinical and non-clinical practice (for example, research and academia) who have an MD degree and a valid mailing address

2. Specialist physicians, including certificants of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and/or the Collège des médecins du Québec. All other physicians are counted under family medicine, including certificants of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, unless noted otherwise.
Exclusions:
1. Residents, physicians in the military, and semi-retired and retired physicians

2. Non-registered physicians who requested that their information not be published as of December 31 of the reference year

Background, Interpretation and Benchmarks
Rationale

Physicians play an important role in the health care system. Physicians directly influence how most health care resources are utilized. Information on physician supply and distribution will help support health decision-makers and planners to prepare for future needs.

Interpretation

Higher ratios are desirable.

HSP Framework Dimension

Health System Inputs and Characteristics: Health system resources

Areas of Need

Not applicable

Targets/Benchmarks

Not applicable

References

Statistics Canada. Table 17-10-0134-01: Estimates of population (2016 Census and administrative data), by age group and sex for July 1st, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions (2018 boundaries) and peer groups. http://www.statcan.gc.ca. Accessed September 19, 2019.

Statistics Canada. Health regions correspondence files. 2018.

Statistics Canada. Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF). 2018.

2016 to 2018: Statistics Canada. Quarterly Demographic Estimates. 2019;21(3).

Availability of Data Sources and Results
Data Sources

Demography division, Statistics Canada, SMDB

Available Data Years

Type of Year:
Calendar
First Available Year:
1978
Last Available Year:
2018

Geographic Coverage

All provinces/territories

Reporting Level/Disaggregation

National, Province/Territory, Region

Result Updates
Update Frequency

Every year

Indicator Results

Web Tool:
CIHI's eStore: Supply, Distribution and Migration of Physicians in Canada, 2018
URL:
https://secure.cihi.ca/estore/productSeries.htm?locale=en&pc=PCC34

Updates

Not applicable

Quality Statement
Caveats and Limitations

The accuracy of the number of active physicians depends greatly on the validity of physicians' mailing addresses. Under-coverage issues may occur when physicians work in locum positions, since they may change locations frequently. Scott's Directories cannot add locum physicians to its "active" physicians group if there is insufficient information on them. Therefore, these physicians will be absent from the Scott's Medical Database (SMDB) counts. When sufficient address information is available, locum physicians are assigned to just one province or territory within the SMDB, even if they do locum work in multiple jurisdictions.

Trending Issues

Prior to the 2017 data year, Scott’s Directories sent a biannual questionnaire to all active physicians (individuals with a Doctor of Medicine [MD] degree who have a valid mailing address) in its database in order to confirm, update and add to existing physician information. Scott’s Directories discontinued the questionnaire during data collection for the 2017 data year, and information that was previously acquired through the physician questionnaire is no longer available.

Comments

Not applicable