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Indicator Metadata

NamePhysicians per 100,000 Population, by Specialty
Short/Other Names

Not applicable

DescriptionThis indicator measures the number of physicians per 100,000 population by specialty.
InterpretationHigher 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/productFamily.htm?pf=PFC3269&lang=en&media=0

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

Not applicable

Indicator Description and Calculation
DescriptionThis indicator measures the number of physicians per 100,000 population by specialty.
Calculation: DescriptionNumber 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

Denominator

Description:
Canada, provincial/territorial and regional population estimates from Statistics Canada

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 Non-registered physicians who requested that their information not be published as of December 31 of the reference year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. Quarterly population estimates, national perspective — Population. Quarterly Demographic Estimates. Vol. 29, no. 4, October to December 2015. Available at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-002-x/2015004/t002-eng.htm.

Statistics Canada. Estimates of population (2011 Census and administrative data), by age group and sex for July 1st, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions (2015 boundaries) and peer groups, annual (number). CANSIM Table 109-5355. Available at http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=1095355&tabMode=dataTable&srchLan=-1&p1=-1&p2=9. Updated March 16, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2016.

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:
2015

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, 2015
URL: https://secure.cihi.ca/estore/productFamily.htm?pf=PFC3269&lang=en&media=0

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

In the past, Scott's Directories has experienced data supply interruptions from jurisdictional licensing authorities. These data provision exceptions are noted below.

–Alberta and Yukon data in 2000 does not reflect the annual update from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and the Government of Yukon. Caution should be used when comparing physician counts from 2000 with those from other years, as the number of physicians missing in the 2000 SMDB data remains unknown.

–Ontario data in 2002 does not reflect 4 of 12 monthly updates (September to December 2002) from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Caution should be used when comparing physician counts from 2002 with those from other years, as the number of physicians missing in the 2002 SMDB data remains unknown.

–Quebec data in 2003 does not reflect the annual update from the Collège des médecins du Québec. Caution should be used when comparing physician counts from 2003 with those from other years, as the number of physicians missing in the 2003 SMDB data remains unknown.

–British Columbia data in 2004 does not reflect the annual update from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Caution should be used when comparing physician counts from 2004 with those from other years, as the number of physicians missing in the 2004 SMDB data remains unknown.

–As of December 1999, Scott's Directories did not collect Nunavut-specific data, and Nunavut physicians were included in the counts of physicians residing in the Northwest Territories. However, for the purposes of the current publication, 1999 Nunavut data has been generated using postal codes, and all analyses reflect distinct physician data for Nunavut and the Northwest Territories from 1999 forward.

Comments

Not applicable