Canadians are unhappy with the current Medicare system

Published on August 16, 2004 at 10:38 AM · No Comments

Canadians are unhappy with the current Medicare system and want new ways to fund health care, a poll by Ipsos Canada shows.

A vast majority of Canadians polled assigned the health care system an overall B grade. Almost all Canadians feel sustainability of the health care system hinges on guaranteeing timely access to health care services. Two-thirds agree with making increased federal funds conditional on improved monitoring and accountability

The poll was commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association.

"When over 41% of Canadians give the health care system either a C or an F, it is a clear indication of the terrible toll exacted by the lack of access resulting from the shortage of health care professionals," said Dr. Sunil Patel, President of the CMA. "The inexorable erosion of Canadians' confidence in their health care system is continuing and our politicians have yet to take adequate measures to end it."

Canadians were also asked to grade the sustainability of various components of Canada's public infrastructure, both physical and social. Canada's emergency services (fire, ambulance, etc.), education system and water and sewer systems all received overall B grades. Canadians gave the health care system, the Canada/Quebec Pension plans and roads and highways an overall C in terms of confidence the system will provide the same level and quality of service for future generations.

Lower grades were also the norm when it came to Canadians' views on the contributions of their governments to sustaining the health care system. The federal and provincial governments received overall C grades for providing adequate funding to the system and for working together. At the same time, Canadians ranked their own contributions, and those of health care providers and hospitals, higher, with overall B grades.

"Canadians know their health care system is only being held together by the people who work in it," added Dr. Patel. "Yet even with the combined efforts of all of us in the system - health care providers and our patients - access to health care services is only getting worse - and sustainability without access is meaningless."

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