Access to health services is one way you can protect and promote your health. Health services are a social determinant of health and valuable investment for all communities. Being able to go to a health care provider to prevent illness, when you are sick or to support your recovery is an important part of our realizing our own potential.
Why is access to health services important?
People need access to timely and appropriate health services to have a positive impact on their health and well-being.
- In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, 5% of people do not have a regular health care provider
- People living on low income are 50% more likely to find it difficult to access care on weekends or evenings and 40% more likely to wait five or more days for a medically appointment
- 44% of the LGBTQ community reported an unmet health-related need in the last year
What are the barriers to access health services?
- Shame, stigma or discrimination
- Time off work to attend appointments
- A lack of after-hours or weekend clinics
- Long wait times for referrals
- A lack of workplace health care benefits
How can we reduce the barriers to health services?
- Create welcoming and positive spaces
- Find out more about community health supports and services closest to you
- Speak with your elected officials about developing regional public transportation and making all health services inclusive and geographically accessible
“We want everyone to have opportunities to be healthy. Access to the health services people need and want is just one piece of an important puzzle,” states Tanis Brown, Registered Nurse.
For more information on health equity and health services, visit www.healthunit.org or call 1-800-660-5853.