New website tracks Thunder Bay's health care status

If you're wondering how health care in Thunder Bay stacks up against the rest of Ontario, the answer is at your fingertips.

OurHealthSystem.ca launched by Canadian Institute for Health Information

The Canadian Institute for Health Information recently launched the website OurHealthSystem.ca. Canadians can go there to learn how well their area compares when it comes to things like life expectancy, access to doctors, and avoidable deaths. (OurHealthSystem.ca)

If you're wondering how health care in Thunder Bay stacks up against the rest of Ontario, the answer is at your fingertips.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information has launched a new website looking at factors ranging from access to a family doctor to obesity rates.

Some of the information on the website confirms what many already know. Fewer people in Thunder Bay have a family doctor than elsewhere in the province.  

But the website, called OurHealthSystem.ca, also reveals that people in Thunder Bay die — on average — almost three years earlier.

Life expectancy in Thunder Bay is 78 years, versus 81 years for the average Ontarian.

Perhaps one of the most striking statistics is that one-in-three long-term care residents takes anti-psychotic drugs — without being diagnosed with psychosis.

Canadian Institute for Health Information spokesperson Kira Leeb said she hopes providing this kind of information will encourage people to ask questions like, “What does this mean to my mum who might be in a long-term care facility?  What questions can I ask the health-care providers?"

The website also has some encouraging news: The smoking rate in Thunder Bay dropped by five per cent in just one year, bringing it in line with the Canadian average.

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