Because having a regular medical doctor is associated with positive outcomes, this study attempted to determine the characteristics of Canadians without regular doctors so that alternative methods of delivering care to people with those characteristics can be studied.
Secondary data analysis of the National Population Health Survey using bivariate analyses and logistic regression.
A total of 15,777 respondents older than 20 years.
Responses to the question "Do you have a regular medical doctor?" and analysis of 11 variables covering demographics, health status, and lifestyle factors.
One in seven respondents did not have a regular doctor. Younger respondents, men, single people, poorer respondents, respondents who perceived themselves in better health, recent immigrants, those without confidants, and smokers were more likely not to have regular doctors. Comparing provinces, participants from Quebec were least likely to have regular doctors.
Primary care reform might need to consider alternative ways of providing care to certain people. Future primary care programs could be targeted to improve coverage of relatively underserviced people, particularly men, people on low incomes, those without confidants, and recent immigrants.