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​New survey shows majority of Canadians support the federal government “topping up” health care funding of provinces and territories with older populations

​Ottawa, Aug. 18, 2016 – Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Canadians responding to a public opinion poll conducted for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) feel that the federal government should provide additional funds to provinces and territories based on their proportion of elderly citizens to help meet growing and evolving health care needs.

The CMA’s 16th Annual National Report Card on Health Care  focused on solutions to address the health care needs of Canada’s aging population that could be included in the soon-to-be negotiated Health Accord between the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

As the discussions for the new Health Accord draw closer, the survey found that few Canadians (15%) are generally aware of the negotiations between their provincial, territorial and federal governments.

“Awareness of the Health Accord among the public is low but the CMA contends that a new Health Accord between the federal, provincial and territorial governments emphasizing seniors is essential to the future success and sustainability of our health care system,” said Dr. Cindy Forbes, the CMA President.

Funding priorities
Despite a lack of awareness, Canadians generally agree on the funding priorities that should be addressed in the new Health Accord. The top funding considerations are:

  •  a strategy for seniors’ health (84% ranking it either very or somewhat important);
  •  improved mental health services (83% ranking it either very or somewhat important);
  •  prescription drugs (80% ranking it either very or somewhat important);
  •  palliative care (80% ranking it either very or somewhat important); and
  •  home care (79% ranking it either very or somewhat important).

“Improving how our health care system responds to the growing and complex needs of Canada’s aging population is the key to the future survival of our health care system,” added Dr. Forbes. “The next Health Accord must target these challenges with clear action and increased support if Canada’s health care system is to survive for the future.”

Reporting requirements
Canadians also want increased accountability with how funds are delivered under the new Health Accord. A majority of Canadians (67%) agree the federal government should identify common indicators across provinces and territories to encourage accountability – a sentiment that increases with age.

Canadians grade health care services in Canada

  •  Seven in ten (73%) Canadians give the overall quality of health care services available to them and their families an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade. Over one third assigns an ‘A’ grade (37%).
  •  When it comes to accessing care in their communities, three in five Canadians grade access to a family doctor as an ‘A’ or ‘B’ (66%). About half (58%) grade access to wellness and preventative care as an ‘A’ or ‘B’.
  •  A higher proportion of Canadians grade access to palliative care in a hospice or hospital as an ‘A’ or ‘B’ (50%) compared to palliative care at home (36%).
  •  About four in ten grade access to home health care services (48%) and access to mental health care services (45%) as an ‘A’ or ‘B’.

From July 22 – 27, 2016, Ipsos surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,286 Canadian adults (18 and over) online, with an oversample to achieve a total of n=401 in BC.