Canada's health is suffering with increasing rates of chronic disease - an inevitable fallout of an aging population. This has led to some experts to call for an overhaul of the country's health-care system.
Over 50 per cent of Canadians were surveyed by business services firm Deloitte and a report was released on Tuesday. The report said that they were diagnosed with at least one chronic disease.
The respondents who said they had been diagnosed with one or more chronic diseases - conditions that plague the sufferer for a long period of time - was up from 47 per cent in a similar survey undertaken two years ago.
Among the main types of chronic conditions Canadians reported were muscular problems such as arthritis, cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, along with diabetes and mental illness.
Among the 12 countries surveyed, the rate of chronic disease ranged from 40 per cent in Mexico to 55 per cent in the United States and Germany. Only the U.S. and Germany saw higher rates of chronic disease than Canada.
"It can have an impact economically, it can have an impact socially," Mark Fam, Deloitte's senior manager of health services for Canada, said of the growing rate of chronic disease.
"We have seen, in some of the financial questions we ask, that many consumers report an increase in their out-of-pocket costs for health care. And typically you would see that more associated with those who have chronic disease."
Less use of hospitals to treat chronic conditions would in some experts' opinion, be a more efficient use of health-care dollars.