Measuring perceptions of health care as a commodity or as a public right among community pharmacists in Saskatchewan
Sira Krishnaprasad, Swathi
The Canadian health care system is primarily public funded. With constant rise in health care costs, there is debate on how to best fund Canadian health care. Public, private and mixed funding options are being discussed. The funding options people support will depend on how they view the health care system. Is health care a commodity or a public right? Pharmacists interact with patients daily and are involved in the delivery of health services. Their views on whether health care should be a public right or a commodity can add meaningful input to the debate.The primary objective of this study was to develop a scale to measure pharmacists’ perceptions of health care as a commodity or a public right. In turn, this scale was used to see if a relationship exists between pharmacists’ orientation to health care (commodity vs. public right) and their support for different health care funding options. A mail-in survey of community pharmacists in Saskatchewan was conducted based on the Dillman approach. The questionnaire consisted primarily of six-point Likert scale questions. Data analysis was performed using non-parametric tests such as Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal Wallis tests. One-way ANOVA was used for parametric data and post-hoc analysis was performed using Bonferroni test. Correlation of the scales was tested using Spearman’s and Pearson’s correlation coefficients. The response rate achieved was 64.2%.The study results indicate that pharmacists are not willing to provide cognitive services free of charge. However, they are willing to continue providing OTC drug counseling free of charge. They will not restrict provision of cognitive services only to patients’ able pay. They prefer being reimbursed through other sources. They are unwilling to make time and income adjustments to improve patient health outcomes. They do not want to link the financial rewards they receive to the amount of benefit the patient receives.Pharmacists favour the current system of funding health care in Canada but would prefer more choice in the delivery and funding methods. The results do not indicate any relationship between pharmacists orientation to health care (commodity vs. public right) and their level of support for different health care funding strategies. The study conclusions suggest that pharmacists’ value and appreciate the direct impact of their work on patients. However they consider themselves to be professionals first and expect to be compensated financially for their services. Their willingness to spend time and effort towards provision of services as a public right seems to be predicated to a certain extent by the financial rewards they receive.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorDobson, Roy T.
CommitteeTaylor, Jeff G.; Sari, Nazmi; Lepnurm, Rein; Alcorn, Jane