Thursday, 27 April 2017

Timely death statistics

Every month I get a press release from the Office for National Statistics in the UK  like this one received on 25 April. 
The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in March 2017 was 48,615; this represents an increase of 889 deaths in comparison with the previous month and a decrease of 25 deaths in comparison with the same month in 2016.
Weekly statistics are issued. This week it's
The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 14 April 2017 (week 15) was 8,493; this represents a decrease of 1,446 deaths registered in comparison with the previous week (week 14).
The average number of deaths for the corresponding week over the previous 5 years was 10,624.The decrease in the deaths registered in the week ending 14 April 2017 is likely to be due to the closure of register offices over the Easter period. This pattern is similar to previous years.
Timely issue of death statistics goes back to bills of mortality, weekly mortality statistics in London, designed to monitor burials from 1592 to 1595 and then continuously from 1603.

I was curious as to why we don't get similar statistics in Canada.

Recognizing health is a provincial jurisdiction I enquired of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care with the specific query "Does your ministry keep track of current (weekly or monthly) death statistics?" 

The initial reply gave contact information on various other government organizations but did not answer the specific question. A follow-up asking for a specific answer was rewarded by the reply that "The MOHLTC does not keep track of death statistics."

Apparently not only do we not get current mortality information but the Ontario ministry responsible for health has no idea as to the current status. In an information age we are less informed than they were in London in the 16th century!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Typical! Cheers, BT