Canadians back away from free MD care

Dec. 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

TORONTO, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Despite no-cost medical checkups, fewer Canadians are going for annual physicals, a poll published in Toronto showed Thursday.

The RBC Insurance poll said a survey of 2,282 Canadian adults found 45 percent regularly scheduled doctor visits, down from 49 percent in 2007.

The poll conducted by Ipsos Reid in late October found women were more likely than men to schedule medical checkups by a 49 percent margin to 41 percent.

However, the number of women visiting the doctor has dropped by 10 percent since 2007, while visits by men have increased by 2 percent, the release said.

"The drop in the statistics may be attributable to women juggling much busier lives," RBC Insurance Vice President Cathy Preston said. "Women are generally more attentive to their health and more disciplined with respect to visiting the doctor."

Doctor visits are free under Canada's universal healthcare system.

The survey has a 2 percent margin of error, RBC said.

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