More Healthcare Professionals, Wait Time Guarantees, And Expansion Of Medicare Services

Most Canadians (62%) feel it is a ‘good plan’: Ipsos Reid Poll for CMA

July 30, 2007 Ottawa, ON – Hiring more doctors, nurses and other professionals, establishing and expanding wait-time standards beyond current provisions, the establishment of a publicly-funded wait-time guarantee, and the expansion of Medicare services – these are the elements of the Canadian Medical Association’s new plan for Canada’s healthcare system. A new Ipsos Reid poll finds that a majority (62%) of Canadians believe that these central tenets of the CMA’s ‘Medicare Plus’ plan, combined, represent a ‘good plan’ for the future of Canada’s health care system. Conversely, just 16% of Canadians believe that, on the whole, these actions represent a ‘bad plan’ for the future of Canada’s health care system, with the remainder adopting a neutral stance (22%).

Of the four elements which make up this plan, ‘increasing the supply of doctors, nurses and other health professionals’ would most positively affect the degree to which Canadians have confidence in the future of the healthcare system, with eight in ten (77%) Canadians believing that implementing this would increase their confidence in the future of the health care system, while only 11% would feel less confident.

Two thirds of Canadians (66%) believe that ‘establishing wait time standards for a full range of procedures and treatments beyond the five that the First Ministers agreed to in 2004, including access to primary care and specialist consultations’, would increase their confidence in the future of the health care system. On the other hand, 16% would feel less confident in the future of the health care system.

Almost as many (61%) feel that their confidence would be increased by ‘establishing a publicly funded wait times guarantee for a full range of procedures and treatments, which would allow patients to seek treatment outside of their geographic region or in private facilities when wait times exceed the maximum recommended for their condition’. Two in ten (20%) Canadians are of the opposite view, and believe that their degree of confidence in the future of the health care system of Canada would decrease.

Of the four elements, the idea of ‘expanding Medicare services through a combination of public and private insurance plans, out-of-pocket payments and tax incentives to increase health care coverage’ is the least popular. However, more than half of Canadians (52%) still agree that implementing this element of the plan would increase their confidence in the future of the health care system, with three in ten (28%) believing that their confidence in the future of the system would decrease as a result.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the Canadian Medical Association and fielded on July 20 -21, 2007. For this survey, a representative cross-section of 1,802 adult Canadians recruited from the Ipsos Internet Household Panel completed an online interview. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within � 2.31 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled, although the margin of error for a non-probability sample such as this should be treated as approximate only. The approximate margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

About Ipsos Reid

Reid is Canada’s market intelligence leader, the country’s leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid’s marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, please visit