Confidence in Health Care Down 10 Points in Canada Since 2021

Just over a third of Canadians think a shortage of doctors and nurses is the biggest problem facing the system right now.

Vancouver, BC [April 21, 2023] – The proportion of Canadians who are convinced that the country’s health care system will be there for them has fallen over the past year and a half, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 67% of Canadians are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that Canada’s health care system would provide the help and assistance that they would need if they had to face an unexpected medical condition or disease, down 10 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in October 2021.

Confidence in the health care system is highest in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (72%, -8), followed by Alberta (71%, -2), Quebec (68%, -7), British Columbia (67%, -11), Ontario (63%, -16) and Atlantic Canada (59%, -7).

One-in-five Canadians (20%, -5) believe Canada’s health care system works well, and only minor changes are needed to make it work better.

While most Canadians (56%, -3) think there are some good things in Canada’s health care, 17% (+5) believe the system has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.

“In August 2020, 30% of Canadians believed the health care system only needed minor modifications,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “This year, only 20% feel the same way.”

Just over a third of Canadians (34%, +2) believe a shortage of doctors and nurses is the biggest problem facing the health care system right now, while just under one-in-four (23%, -4) think it is long wait times.

Fewer Canadians select bureaucracy and poor management (17%, -3), inadequate resources and facilities (9%, +1), lack of a wider range of services for patients (6%, +1) little focus on preventive care (6%, =), and insufficient standards of hygiene (1%, -1) as the main problems in Canada’s health care system.

More than half of Atlantic Canadians (52%) identify a shortage of doctors and nurses as the main problem for the health care system. The proportions are lower in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (39%), British Columba (37%), Ontario (31%), Quebec (30%) and Alberta (23%).

More than three-in-five Canadians (78%, -4) disagree with the federal government making cuts to health care funding in order to reduce government debt.

Half of Canadians (50%, -6) disagree with the idea that health care in Canada would be better than it is now if it were run by the private sector.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from April 16 to April 18, 2023, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. 

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

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.