Opinion Polls

Healthcare in Canada 2023

The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) commissioned Ipsos to poll Canadians on their opinions regarding various healthcare-related issues.

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Media release – MEI-Ipsos poll: A majority of Canadians favour increased access to private health care

  • Seven in 10 Quebecers support the Legault government’s mini-hospitals project;
  • Six in 10 Canadians support the decentralization of their provincial health care system.

Montreal, April 6, 2023 – A majority of Canadians—and even more Quebecers—support increased access to private health care, according to a new MEI-Ipsos poll published this morning.

“For decades now, our monopolistic government-run health care model has only given us access to endless wait lists,” says Emmanuelle B. Faubert, economist at the MEI. “We shouldn’t be surprised if Canadians, seeing what is possible elsewhere in the world, come to support mixed, entrepreneurial health care models.”

The results of the poll show that 52% of respondents are in favour of increased access to health care provided by independent entrepreneurs, versus 31% who are opposed. In Quebec, this support climbs to 63% versus 23%.

Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan notably have certain projects in the works involving facilities owned by independent entrepreneurs, but accessible to all through governmental health insurance, in order to improve access to care.

The mini-hospitals project proposed by the Legault government, with facilities run by independent entrepreneurs but accessible to all with the Quebec medicare card, is one of these.

“The Legault government’s mini-hospitals project seems to be popular,” adds Ms. Faubert. “Quebecers are much more concerned about access to care than about the administrative structure of care facilities—and rightly so.”

The poll shows that 69% of Quebecers questioned said they are in favour of the Legault government’s mini-hospitals project, versus just 18% who are against it.

In general, respondents support the decentralization of the health care system. Six in 10 Canadians say they are in favour of decentralization, versus 22% who are opposed. In Quebec, these proportions are 72% and 12%, respectively.

“People understand that they are better served when decisions are made closer to them, and not in the provincial capitals,” explains Ms. Faubert. “In this context, centralizing projects like Quebec’s Bill 15 should be reconsidered.”

In Quebec, Bill 15 proposes to centralize the daily administration of care facilities with a new structure named Santé Québec, and to transform existing facilities into local branches of this agency.

The poll was conducted among 1,164 Canadians aged 18 years and over, between March 17 and 20, 2023.

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship. 

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