Health­care sur­vey shows room for im­prove­ment

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The re­sults of an in­de­pen­dently run on­line consultation with the com­mu­nity on health­care re­veal that while slightly more that half of the res­i­dents are sat­is­fied with the health­care of­fered in the val­ley, there are some ar­eas in which many many are not.

Dr. Rithesh Ram com­mis­sioned Aba­cus Data to un­der­take an on­line sur­vey on health­care in the val­ley. The consultation took place from Fe­bru­ary 24 to March 13 of this year and in that short win­dow, it re­ceived 1,306 re­sponses. Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Ram, the num­ber of re­sponse is in­dica­tive of the con­cerns.

“The amount of peo­ple that filled out the sur­vey was two and half times more than the com­pany thought would be the case with the time­frame they left it open, so that was a sig­nif­i­cant sam­ple,” he said.

The sur­vey showed 74 per cent were sat­is­fied with the qual­ity of health­care they re­ceived at the Drumheller Health Cen­tre, and 69 per cent were sat­is­fied with the care they re­ceived out­side of the hospi­tal.

Some ar­eas of con­cern were wait times to see their fam­ily physi­cian (81 per cent dis­sat­is­fied), the process of book­ing ap­point­ments (66 per cent dis­sat­is­fied), and the choice of physi­cians in town (61 per cent dis­sat­is­fied).

“It ba­si­cally says things are good, but there are ar­eas re­quir­ing sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment,” he said. Dr. Ram says there weren’t too many sur­prises in the data.

“Ev­ery­one in the val­ley has heard or ex­pressed some of th­ese con­cerns over the last 10-20 years, well be­fore I even got here,” he said. “More than any­thing it val­i­dates what the com­mu­nity has been say­ing for years.”

Of those sur­veyed 6 per cent

be­lieved heath care has im­proved over the last year, while 37 per cent be­lieve it has got­ten worse, and 57 per cent be­lieved it has stayed the same.

The sur­vey also showed that 90 per cent of re­spon­dents be­lieved Drumheller needs more physi­cians, and 70 per cent say there is a need for more fe­male doc­tors.

In the end, Dr Ram says “it is up to the com­mu­nity to ad­vo­cate for their health, and that in­cludes telling the prov­ince that Drumheller needs more doc­tors, and what­ever im­prove­ment in ser­vices they need to be health­ier as a com­mu­nity.”

The sur­vey also weighs into the area of what is ac­cept­able for wait times for ap­point­ments. About 52 per cent say that time of un­der 5 days was ac­cept­able for a rou­tine ap­point­ment, while 76 per cent felt an ur­gent ap­point­ment should be pos­si­ble on the same day.

That data showed of those sur­veyed, 60 per cent say they have waited al­most 13 days for an ur­gent ap­point­ment.

Dr. Rithesh Ram

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.