Canadian Manufacturing

Canadians want to increase health system capacity: poll

Canadians also think that the health care system is too bureaucratic to respond to their needs, according to poll

November 11, 2020  by CM Staff

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MONTREAL — With Canadians locked down to varying degrees in order to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed, a large majority of them want the system to have better surge capacity.

Canadians, and especially Quebecers, also think that the health care system is too bureaucratic to respond to their needs. The majority of Canadians are in favour of giving more space to entrepreneurs within a universal health care system, according to an Ipsos poll carried out on behalf of the Montreal Economic Institute.

Some highlights:

  • 88% of Canadians agree that there’s a need to improve the capacity of the health care system, be it through more beds, personal protective equipment, medical staff, or hospitals and clinics. For those aged 55 and over, the figure is 93%.
  • 61% of Canadians believe that their health system is too bureaucratic to respond to the needs of the population. In Quebec, 75% of people agree with this statement. Fewer than one in four across the country disagree.
  • 63% of Canadians agree with entrepreneurs providing health care within the universal system. Quebecers are particularly open to this option: 75% of them are in favour.
  • 53% of Canadians think that the additional amounts of money injected into health care over the past decade have had no effect or that the system has actually gotten worse.
  • Nearly seven in ten Canadians (69%) want to continue to have access to telemedicine after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. This preference is even stronger among women (76%).
  • “Canadians realize that our health care system is constantly on the verge of being overwhelmed, and want there to be more capacity to deal with large volumes of patients. While the general public sympathizes with health professionals, Canadians find the system much too bureaucratic,” said Miguel Ouellette, director of operations and economist at the MEI, in a prepared statement. “That may be part of the reason why people are so open to the idea of allowing entrepreneurs to lend a hand.”

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    “Canadians are ready to try something new to improve health care access. They know that spending more and more money within the current system is not solving the problem. We need to make a real effort to improve the capacity of our system to adapt to increased patient numbers, and bureaucracy can’t do it alone,” added Ouellette.


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