Lysiane Gagnon cites a 2000 report by the World Health Organization to perpetuate the myth that the Canadian health-care system ranks 30th in the world (That French Remedy Still Works - March 2). The dubious methodology used in this report has since been discontinued. The rankings in the 2000 report did not directly measure actual health out-
comes, but rather how well these outcomes compared with what might be expected after discounting for the effects of a country's non-medical determinants.
It was also assumed that the impact of these other determinants could be deduced by looking at the statistical influence of just one variable - a country's average years of schooling. Canada's relatively good health results were therefore heavily discounted because of Canadians' high average levels of education.
In WHO's Global Health Statistics 2008, which uses real, not estimated, data from 2005, Canada equalled or outperformed France and other front-runners from the 2000 report in almost all categories, including mortality and life expectancy.
It's also worth noting that France spent 11.2 per cent of gross domestic product on health care, while Canada spent 9.7 per cent.