Nearly Two in Three Canadians (64%) Worried that the Health Care System is Falling Behind

Although Most Expect to Use the System More than Ever in the Next 5-10 Years (82%), 70% Worry They’ll Fall Through the Cracks

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ottawa, ON – While three in four Canadians say that the health care system is among the best in the developed world (75% strongly or somewhat agree), nearly two in three are worried that it is falling behind (64% strongly or somewhat agree). These are among the key findings of a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of HealthCareCAN on the eve of its annual National Health Leadership Conference, which is taking place in Charlottetown, P.E.I., June 15-16.

More than four in five Canadians say they expect to access the health care system more than ever in the next five to 10 years (82% strongly or somewhat agree), however, seven in ten are concerned that they will fall through the cracks in the system (70% strongly or somewhat agree). Expectations of the health care system are high. Four in five say they expect more from the health care system than they do from other public sector services (84% strongly or somewhat agree) or from the private sector (79% strongly or somewhat agree).

Efficiency is widely seen as a way to deliver better care. Nine in ten believe that if the health care system spent money more efficiently, it would provide better care (89% strongly or somewhat agree). About half say they don’t care how the money is spent as long as the quality of care is high (52% strongly or somewhat agree; 48% disagree).

In terms of who is responsible for improving the health care system, most say that doctors (70%), nurses (66%) and health researchers and scientists (62%) should play greater roles. Most also say that the people who run Canada’s hospitals and health institutions (58%) should also play a greater role in improving the health care system. Majorities also think that patients (57%) and pharmacists (54%) should play greater roles. Fewer think that policy makers (39%), politicians (37%) or business leaders (29%) should play greater roles in improving the health care system.

Questions were also asked about a range of issues confronting the health care system which will be debated during the conference. Among these findings, the data show that…

  • 91% of Canadians say more needs to be done to improve the quality and accessibility of mental health care;
  • 90% want to see more done to better identify frail seniors and improve care for them;
  • 90% want more resources to improve palliative care;
  • 77% consider investment in ageing hospitals to be a higher priority in their area than investing in roads and bridges; and,
  • 66% say they are worried about the risk of infection in hospitals and other health care facilities.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between May 12 to 27, 2015,on behalf of HealthCareCAN. For this survey, a sample of 1,230 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mike Colledge
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos in Canada

Ipsos is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos' marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 87 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media, customer loyalty, marketing, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.

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Nearly Two in Three Canadians (64%) Worried that the Health Care System is Falling Behind


Mike Colledge
President / Président, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 613 688 8971