As the halfway point of the federal election campaign approaches, a new Ipsos poll commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) finds that Canadians aren’t happy with how political parties are addressing health care issues. More than half of those polled (55%) were dissatisfied, jumping to 68% for those over 55.
“The political discourse has done little to address Canadians’ questions. We have serious health care challenges to deal with and we need serious commitments to address them. – Dr. Sandy Buchman, CMA president
Not hearing what they want from parties on these challenges, half of respondents (51%) say they are likely to take matters into their own hands and ask local federal candidates what their party’s plans are for health care. People in the Prairies (57%) are most likely to ask, followed by Ontario and Atlantic Canada (55%).
This approach aligns with the CMA’s push to mobilize voters on health issues this election, through its Health Advocates program.
In addition, one election issue identified by the CMA - access to primary care - appears to be one of the most important to Canadians across all demographics. Two-thirds (67%) say a party’s plan to improve access to family doctors, GPs and nurse practitioners will be a deciding factor in how they vote in the federal election.
Only 10% of respondents say they’ve seen any improvements in access to care where they live in the last four years. Three in ten Canadians say access has worsened.
“Canadians have been consistent and clear – health care is their top concern,” says Dr. Buchman. “Let’s not play politics with our health. Canadians expect better.”
Ipsos conducted the poll between September 19 and 23, interviewing a sample of 2,002 Canadians aged 18 and over.