​While patient care over the course of the last several decades has advanced significantly to consider better technology, improved treatments, more effective drugs and physicians who have access to global networks at their fingertips, the Canadian model for primary care has not advanced as quickly. Primary Care or the "Family doctor" model has been a fixture in Canadian health systems, and for good reason – it is one of the most effective ways to integrate preventative medicine and early intervention into a health system.

KPMG conducted a poll of 2,000 Canadian adults to explore patient perspectives on primary care. The survey sought to better understand primary care utilization and how Canadians feel about current challenges, opportunities for improvement, and how they perceive changing primary care models in Canada.

The findings paint a changing landscape that has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant trends have emerged including a shift in demand for virtual appointments, new-billing codes and methods of payment, increased competitiveness as Canadian brands enter the market and a higher expectation for patient engagement and partnership. Due to the rapid pace of change, policy makers are having a hard time catching up. This raises an important question: what role does Government have in managing this evolution?

As we navigate these trends, this report aims to provide some insight on where we go from here. We recognize this problem is not a single question, but four big questions that can help provide a blueprint for the future of Canadian primary care.

Four big questions for Canadians

  1. What do Canadians think about their primary care experience?
  2. How can these trends provide opportunities to improve primary care?
  3. What is Government's responsibility?
  4. How do innovators in primary care promote integrity, quality and trust?

As we look forward to a more integrated, streamlined and accessible future of primary care, our aim is to provide valuable insights that will help drive success and improved outcomes for providers and patients. With a focus on patient experience, optimizing the primary care workforce and building quality and trust into primary care systems, the future can be healthier for all Canadians.

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