Canadians Reject Health Care Cuts, Question Private Involvement

A shortage of doctors and nurses is the biggest problem facing the health care system for one third of Canadians.  
Vancouver, BC [October 11, 2021] – A majority of Canadians are skeptical about the effect that the private sector would have on the country’s delivery of health care services, a new Research Co. poll has found.  
In the online survey of a representative national sample, 56% of Canadians disagree with the notion that health care in Canada would be better than it is now if it were run by the private sector, up five points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in August 2020.  
In addition, more than four-in-five Canadians (82%, +7) disagree with the federal government making cuts to health care funding in order to reduce government debt.  
Across the country, more than three-in-four Canadians (77%, +1) feel “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.  
The lowest levels of confidence on this question are observed in Quebec and Atlantic Canada (65% and 66% respectively). More than seven-in-ten residents of Alberta (73%), British Columbia (78%), Ontario (79%), and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (80%) think the health care system will be there if and when they need it.  
Practically three-in-five Canadians (59%, +4) think there are some good things in Canada’s health care system, but many changes are required. One-in-four respondents (25%, -5) believe the system works well and only minor changes are needed to make it work better, while 12% (+3) say health care has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.  
“One-in-four Atlantic Canadians (25%) believe it is time to completely rebuild Canada’s health care system,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion reaches double digits in three other provinces: Quebec (15%), Alberta (11%) and British Columbia (10%).”  
One third of Canadians (32%, +6) identify a shortage of doctors and nurses as the biggest problem facing the health care system right now—including 66% of Atlantic Canadians and 36% of British Columbians.  
More than a quarter of Canadians (27%. -4) say long wait times are the biggest hindrance in the health care system—including 39% of those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and 31% of those in Ontario.  
Other problems with the health care system outlined by Canadians are bureaucracy and poor management (14%, +1), inadequate resources and facilities (8%, =), little focus on preventive care (6%, =), lack of a wider range of services for patients (5%, -1) and insufficient standards of hygiene (2%, -1).  
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 4 to October 6, 2021, 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.