Most Canadians want ‘major changes’ to healthcare system new research finds

Most Canadians want ‘major changes’ to healthcare system new research finds

TORONTO – New research suggests that Canadians view healthcare as one of the top three most important issues for politicians to focus on and about two-thirds believe major changes are needed.

The new Leger survey of 2,017 Canadian adults found that:

  • Healthcare is a top-three issue (16%), after cost of living/inflation (23%) and housing (17%).
  • For women, healthcare is the second most important issue (20%).
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) agree that the system needs a major change. Only five per cent agree that the only change needed is more public funding.
  • Two-thirds (67%) agree health care services in Canada will be worse for future generations.
  • Canadians’ top three health care priorities are
    • more family doctors (46%)
    • shorter emergency room wait times (16%), and
    • shorter wait times for common surgeries and other treatments (10%).
  • Only three per cent agree that a national pharmacare program as their top healthcare priority.
  • About four in five (83%) agree with the statement: “health care controlled by politicians isn’t working. Major change from the current situation is needed.”

The research was conducted by surveying Leger’s online panel between January 30 and February 12 on behalf of the Canadian Constitution Foundation (the “CCF”), and the Montreal Economic Institute (the “MEI”).

CCF Executive Director Joanna Baron said the results show that politicians ignore the strong desire for reform at their peril.

“The CCF has been fighting for the constitutional rights of Canadians suffering on waitlists for years and these results suggest Canadians believe the situation is only getting worse,” she said.

“It’s time for politicians to get out of the way of private players who could introduce more competition, innovation, and supply into the health care system, which would reduce wait times for all,” she added. President Colin Craig said “it is encouraging to see that most Canadians understand the way to help patients isn’t by throwing more money at our poorly-run system.”

“Canada is actually one of the top spenders in the world when it comes to healthcare,” Craig added. “What we need is structural reform.”

MEI CEO Daniel Dufort said “it should come as no surprise that Canadians want to see some serious change in the way healthcare is delivered in this country.”

“The fact is, access to healthcare is not the same thing as access to a waiting list,” Dufort added. “Unfortunately, as we know all too well, the government-run system has long been unable to provide us with timely access to care.”

You can download the survey report here.

For interviews, please contact:

Joanna Baron
[email protected]
1-888-695-9105 x. 101