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The State of Dermatology in Canada: The CSPA Report Card

In January 2012 the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance released Skin Deep: Report Card on Access to Dermatological  Care and Treatment in Canada. As part of our advocacy efforts to improve access to medications, medical treatments and dermatologists, our goal was to present an objective look at how the publicly funded health systems are performing, relative to what patients expect.

The Report Card looks at four categories of performance:

  • Access to medications
  • Access to medical procedures
  • Access to dermatologist care
  • Improvements to access

“The shortage of dermatologists is a big problem. Skin patients across Canada tell us they wait months to see a dermatologist after a referral from their family doctor,” explains Christine Janus, Executive Director of the CSPA.

Dr. Gordon Searles of the Canadian Dermatology Association, agrees with the issues raised in the Report Card. “We have been calling on governments to address the shrinking dermatology workforce for several years now, and I’m glad to see the CSPA take a stand on these issues on behalf of Canadians, because we will all ultimately suffer if this is not addressed.”

“We thought it was time to seriously examine the issues we were hearing from our national affiliate organizations,” said Christine Clarke, head of advocacy at the CSPA. “Access to medications is one of the top concerns. Patients tell us that provincial drug programs sometimes require them to fail on at least two older therapies before they can be prescribed a more effective and better tolerated medication.”

The CSPA plans to track progress in improving access to dermatological treatments and care by updating the report card as often as financially feasible.

Read the full Report Card

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