Media Releases

Strong majority of Quebecers support parallel private health system

Montreal, January 26, 2004 – Seven out of 10 Quebecers favour opening the Quebec health system to the private sector, according to a recent Léger Marketing poll sponsored by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).

The results were published on the eve of a speech on this subject by Claude Castonguay, former health minister and the father of Quebec’s health insurance plan. The Léger poll indicates that 71.7% of Quebecers would support faster access to health care for those ready to pay for private services, while maintaining the existing free, universal health system.

“These findings confirm once again what several polls have been showing over the past few years. The answer was as clear as the question: Quebecers favour more freedom of choice when it comes to health care services,” said Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President of the Montreal Economic Institute. Provincial responsibility

The Léger Marketing/MEI survey also found that two-thirds of Quebecers believe health management should be a provincial responsibility: 66.6% indicated that the federal government should leave all health care management and financing to the provinces.

The poll consisted of telephone interviews between January 7 and 18, 2004 of a representative sample of 2001 Quebecers 18 years or older. Results are accurate within ±2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Poll details, including the questions asked, are available from the MEI Web site.

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Dr. J. Edwin Coffey, MEI senior health care associate researcher and former president of the Quebec Medical Association, is available to comment this survey.

For further information or interview: Patrick Leblanc, Director of Events & Communications, MEI, at (514) 273-0969 or pleblanc@iedm.org

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