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Making Sense of Health Rankings

January 3, 2008

From time to time, health ranking reports are published giving widely varying indications of Canadians’ health and health care systems—are we fifth in the world or twenty-fifth? This raises the question, “Which ranking is more meaningful?” This special methodological report will help readers understand and assess reports that rank the health status or health system performance of a country, province or jurisdiction. This paper outlines the components and processes that underlie health rankings and explores why such rankings can be difficult to interpret. The report also includes a plain-language checklist to use as a critical evaluative resource when reading health-ranking reports.

This document was published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. View the full report here.

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