When asked what issues are top of mind heading into the federal election, 53% of Canadians are reporting being worried about their health care, compared to 20% for carbon tax.
While health care has long been a ballot box issue for Canadians, this new polling by Ipsos Reid – commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) – reveals how the issue could influence voters this election, with six out of 10 participants suggesting they’d vote for the party with the best health care plan.
Every election, health care tops the list for Canadians and yet, our federal leaders do little to truly address it. This time around, it’s different. Canadians are no longer willing to wait for action or to see services fall victim to budget cuts. – CMA President Dr. Gigi Osler
Voters are also looking for improvements to the current system, with long wait times (62%), a shortage of health professionals (60%) and crowded hospitals (59%) reported as major concerns for the Canadians surveyed.
Two thirds were also worried about governments cutting health care services to balance their budgets, while half believed they may soon have to pay more for the services they need.
We're hearing from our patients about the need for change. If we're concerned about it, we have to pass the message on to the people who want to run our next federal government. – Dr. Osler, speaking to News 1130 Vancouver about the results
The report also indicated that climate change is an emerging concern for the public, with three out of 10 respondents worried about its impact.
The Ipsos Reid survey was commissioned by the CMA to gain insight into Canadians’ current health care concerns. This research is part of the CMA’s election readiness campaign to ensure health is on the agenda during this fall’s federal election.