More Care Is Not Always Better
What’s the Issue?
It is easy to assume that the real problem with the healthcare system is “not enough” – not enough physicians, not enough MRIs, not enough money in the system. But what does the evidence show? What is the right amount of healthcare? And what kind of care are Canadians getting?
A growing number of studies show that more healthcare is not always better and the more expensive drug is not necessarily the right choice. In fact, the evidence suggests that sometimes more care, care that you don’t need, can be harmful and expose patients to unnecessary risks.
So what is the “right amount” of care? Getting the “right amount” of healthcare means that you are getting as much care as you need, but no unnecessary care. Here are some examples: Getting antibiotics for an infection that is helped by antibiotics is the “right amount” of care. Getting antibiotics for a condition that is not helped by antibiotics – such as the common cold – would be unnecessary care. Staying on schedule with the preventive care and screening tests that are recommended for your age and health condition is the “right amount” of care. Having preventive care and screening tests more often than recommended would be unnecessary care.