Survey says Canadians will make health care a ballot issue

Atlantic Canadians, Quebecers (including BQ voters), and older Canadians demonstrate the highest concern for our healthcare system among questions tested.
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OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 13, 2021- As we enter the last week of this federal election, a new survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) confirms that a bold commitment to health care will win voters’ support.

The condition of Canada’s healthcare system is on the minds of Canadians, especially in the context of the upcoming federal election – many would be swayed to vote for a political party that prioritizes the health of all Canadians. Most Canadians feel that the healthcare system is in need of some degree of improvement and investment over the next 10 years, from investments to a complete overhaul.

Once considered a source of national pride, Canada’s health care system is the number one area in Canadians’ minds requiring federal investment (24%), surpassing the economy (22%) and affordable housing (21%). Climate change and management of the pandemic follow closely, making it clear that voters value good health, employment and housing, while recognizing that climate change and the pandemic have been, and will continue to be, disruptors that must be managed and mitigated.

“Voters are sending a very strong message to political parties and candidates – they expect federal commitments to fix our health care system. It’s time to step up and take a leadership position. Canadians are ready to support you.”

Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA president

More than 90% of Canadians agree that federal investments in health care are needed to improve the systems, along with additional support and investments for health workers, better collaboration between provinces and the federal government.

Other key findings:

  • 6 out of 10 respondents stated that the political party that prioritizes the health of all Canadians will earn their vote;
  • 89% of respondents agree long-term care needs to be fixed for seniors/seniors deserve better long-term care;
  • 87% of respondents agree that supporting health care workers will improve access to care and ensure quality of care;
  • 76% of respondents agree the federal government must prepare for the next pandemic;
  • 75% of respondents agree that addressing climate change will ensure better health for all Canadians, particularly future generations; and
  • 66% of respondents agree that reconciliation with Indigenous peoples will improve their health and health outcomes.

Methodology: The survey was conducted by Abacus Data with 2,000 Canadian adults eligible to vote from September 3 to 6, 2021. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source. 3,137 panelists who were invited to complete the survey entered, but we are unable to determine how many were initially invited. Of the 3,137 who started the survey, 2,000 (63.7%) completed it, 453 (14.4%) qualified but didn’t complete the survey and 684 (21.8%) were disqualified. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/-2.17, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

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