Wait Times Are Biggest Health Care Issue for British Columbians

Almost three-in-five residents say there are some good things in the system, but some changes are required.

Vancouver, BC [September 6, 2019] – Most British Columbians have a positive view of the provincial health care system, but more than a third express worries about long waiting times, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 58% of British Columbians believe there are some good things in health care in the province, but some changes are required.

One-in-four British Columbians (26%) think the health care system in the province works well and only minor changes are needed to make it work better. 

A smaller proportion of residents (12%) believe health care in British Columbia has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.

“Residents of Metro Vancouver and Southern BC are more likely to say that the provincial health care system requires only minor changes (27% each),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is lower in Northern BC (22%), Vancouver Island (also 22%) and the Fraser Valley (18%).”

Almost two-in-five British Columbians (38%) identify long waiting times as the biggest problem facing the health care system in the province right now.

One-in-five residents (20%) say a shortage of doctors and nurses is the biggest issue, followed by inadequate resources and facilities (15%), and bureaucracy and poor management (10%).

Fewer British Columbians mention a lack of a wider range of services for patients (6%), vague legal rights of patients (4%), little focus on preventive care (3%) and insufficient standards of hygiene (1%).

Across the province, 45% of British Columbians say they would be willing to pay out of their own pocket to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long waiting times—a proportion that includes 56% of those in the highest income bracket.

More than a third of British Columbians (37%) say they would be willing to travel to another country to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long waiting times.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 28 to August 30, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca