Canadians disapprove of provincial management of health care

About 72% of Canadians are critical of their provincial government’s management of the health care system, according to a new poll.

In contrast, about 25% said their province is managing health care well, which is the lowest point in 8 years.

Across the country, at least two-thirds of Canadians in every province said their government was doing a poor job with the health care system.

David Korzinsky

“As we enter a new phase, whether post-COVID-19 or ‘living with COVID-19’, many Canadians are focused on issues left unattended or delayed throughout the pandemic,” said said Dave Korzinski, director of research at the Angus Reid Institute, says Medscape Medical News.

“A myriad of issues, such as a lack of primary care physicians and wait times for procedures, plague the public, and it’s important to track public sentiment alongside this basic health care data. “, did he declare. “Understanding the level of worry or frustration gives us a key indicator of the temperature in the country and how many people are not only being affected personally, but also vicariously by other friends and family who may go undetected. by official data.

The Institute published a full report on the results of the investigation on June 22.

Growing disapproval

The Angus Reid Institute, founded in 2014, is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public opinion research foundation. The online survey was conducted June 7-13 with a random, representative sample of 5,032 Canadian adult members of the Angus Reid Forum.

About 52% of respondents identified health care as one of the top three priorities for their province. At least two in five people in every province said health care was a top issue, after inflation and the cost of living. Health care is ranked higher than other issues such as housing, climate change, jobs, education, the COVID-19 response and the opioid crisis.

Older Canadians were more likely to express concerns about the health care system. For those aged 55 and over, about 68% of women and 62% of men said health care was their top priority.

When it comes to government response, nearly three-quarters of respondents said their provincial government is doing a “poor” or “very poor” job of health care. The disapproval rate has increased throughout 2021, exceeding the pre-pandemic average of around 60%.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, about 53% said their provincial government was handling health care well. That number has now dropped to 25%.

In June 2022, at most three in 10 Canadians believed their provincial government was doing a “good job” on health care. Those in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia gave the highest ratings, although two-thirds of those provinces still said the province was doing a poor job.

“Increased level of frustration”

“The heightened level of frustration and priority that Canadians are currently placing on health care is somewhat expected, but staggering nonetheless,” Korzinski said. “The tracking data is unique in how quickly concerns shifted from managing COVID-19 to fundamental aspects of health care.”

The Angus Reid Institute will continue to conduct surveys throughout 2022 on Canadians’ views on the healthcare system. In an upcoming report, researchers will look at access to care, including provincial trends.

“I think the one message that’s clear is that Canadians are underserved in many parts of the country and expect more,” Korzinski said.

Health policy experts also want to learn about access and differing views among subgroups, especially those who face inequities.

“Social Fault Lines”

Dr Amelie Quesnel-Vallee

“While the pandemic has exacerbated the cracks in our healthcare system, it has also brought to light the social flaws in our society,” Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, PhD, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Politics and Inequalities of health at McGill University and director of the McGill Observatory on Health and Social Services Reforms in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, said medical landscape.

“I am very concerned that these major trends mask important underlying inequalities. We know that COVID-19 has hit many racialized groups the hardest, between being on the front lines of essential services without [personal protective equipment] and ventilation and being less likely to have the privilege to walk away,” she said. “They will need just as much, if not more, access to services (given the long COVID, for example).”

In addition, women tended to rate their health care system worse than men in several provinces. At least three-quarters of women of all ages said their provincial government had done a poor job.

“I am particularly struck by the differences between the sexes, which suggest that the situation could be even worse than the average suggests. Women access the system more frequently than men, and serve more often as caregivers; they are also overrepresented among healthcare professionals,” Quesnel-Vallée said. “Therefore, I suspect their darker view of the system would tend to better capture the lived experience of Canadians providing care, trying to access the system, or supporting their loved ones in this process.”

The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by the Angus Reid Institute. Korzinski and Quesnel-Vallee reported no relevant disclosures.

ARI. Published online June 22, 2022. Full Text.

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