Most Canadians Maintain Confidence in the Health Care System

Long wait times are still seen as the biggest problem, along with a shortage of medical professionals.

Vancouver, BC [August 18, 2020] – Three-in-four Canadians express commitment to the health care system and are opposed to a decrease in federal funding for medical services, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 76% of Canadians are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that the country’s health care system would be there to provide help and assistance if they had to face an unexpected medical condition.

On a regional basis, Ontarians are more likely to express confidence in the health care system (82%) than residents of British Columbia (75%), Alberta (also 75%), Quebec (74%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (69%) and Atlantic Canada (67%).

When asked about the biggest problem facing the health care system right now, 31% of Canadians mention long wait times, down two points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in January 2019.

A shortage of doctors and nurses is second on the list of problems with the health care system with 26% (+8), followed by bureaucracy and poor management with 13% (-11).

Fewer Canadians cite inadequate resources and facilities (8%), a lack of a wider range of services for patients (6%), little focus on preventive care (also 6%) and insufficient standards of hygiene (3%).

“Long wait times remain a major health care issue for residents of Ontario and Quebec,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Concerns about a shortage of doctors and nurses are more prevalent in Atlantic Canada.”

Across the country, 30% of Canadians (+5) believe Canada’s health care system works well, and only minor changes are needed to make it work better.

A majority of respondents (55%, -5) think there are some good things in Canada’s health care system, but many changes are required.

Only 9% of Canadians (-4) say the country’s health care system has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.

A majority of Canadians (51%) disagree with the notion of health care in Canada becoming better than it is now if it were run by the private sector, and three-in-four (75%) are opposed to the federal government making cuts to health care funding in order to reduce government debt.

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 7 to August 9, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.