Despite bolstered federal investments in health and a firm commitment by provincial and territorial leaders to fix health care, a survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute indicates that Canadians are losing hope that the system is getting the attention it urgently requires. Only one quarter of Canadians (25%) are optimistic about improvements in health care in the next two years.
The survey, which was commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and conducted between Aug. 1 and 8, 2023, shows that only 26% of Canadians consider the health care system to be in excellent or very good condition, whereas half (48%) considered it to be excellent or very good in a 2015 survey also conducted by the Angus Reid Institute.
Canadians believe that both federal and provincial/territorial governments need to make health care a bigger priority, with 82% calling on provinces and territories and 84% calling on the federal government to do so. Beyond making health care a bigger priority, fully two-thirds (67%) of Canadians believe that improving measurement of the health system will lead to positive changes.
"We’re seeing a decline in Canadians' satisfaction with the health care system, and this is a very worrying trend," says Dr. Kathleen Ross, CMA president. "We need to do everything we can to restore Canadians' trust in the health system. By working together and measuring progress in priority areas, we can build the system that patients and health care workers expect and deserve.”
The survey also shows that:
- among Canadians who do not have a family physician, 26% have given up looking while another 38% have been looking for more than a year; and
- 66% believe that money alone will not fix health care, though 60% believe new funding will certainly help.
The survey also indicates that 24/7 access to emergency departments, shorter waiting times for surgery and shorter waiting lists to see a family doctor were among the top priorities identified by Canadians.
To read the full survey results, click here.