Montreal, October 16, 2006 – A Leger Marketing poll sponsored by the Montreal Economic Institute reveals that Quebecers are significantly more favourable than the average Canadian to the emergence of a private health care system parallel to the current universal public system.
Sixty percent of Quebecers – compared to just 48% of all Canadians – “would agree if the government allowed faster access to health care for those who wish to pay for this health care in the private sector, while maintaining the current free and universal system.”
Openness to the private sector’s contribution to health is also strong among residents of the Atlantic provinces (59%) and Prairies (61%).
Ontarians are the most opposed to such a change (59%).
Quebecers are leading their politicians
The poll results also demonstrate the gap between actions of the Quebec government and opinions of the province’s residents.
In the wake of the historic decision handed down in June 2005 by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Chaoulli-Zeliotis case, the Quebec government tabled draft legislation (Bill 33) which opens access to private health insurance for medically required care, but only for three procedures: hip, knee and cataract surgery.
Yet the poll indicates that two-thirds of Quebecers would be favourable to the Quebec government opening access to private insurance for all medically required care, rather than limiting access to three operations.
“The government of Quebec is clearly lagging behind citizens on this issue,” said the new president of the Montreal Economic Institute, Paul Daniel Muller. “Rather than delay once again the inevitable reform to the health system, the government could have capitalized on the opening offered by the Supreme Court ruling. This is without exaggeration a missed opportunity.”
Quebec National Assembly hearings on Bill 33 end tomorrow.
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For information and interviews, contact: Patrick Leblanc, Director of Communications, Montreal Economic Institute, Tel.: 514-273-0969 (office) / 514-571-640 (cell.) / E-mail: email@example.com