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MEI-Ipsos poll: Half of Canadians are dissatisfied with their provincial health care systems

  • A majority is in favour of relying more on the private sector to improve access to care;
  • Almost three in four Quebecers support the Legault government’s mini-hospitals project.

Montreal, April 11, 2024 – Dissatisfied with the state of their provincial health care systems, a majority of Canadians are open to greater reliance on the private sector, according to an MEI-Ipsos poll published this morning.

“People understand that the endless waiting lists that characterize our government-run health systems will not be solved by yet another bureaucratic reform,” explains Emmanuelle B. Faubert, economist at the MEI. “They can see that elsewhere in the world, mixed systems that allow more room for independent care providers don’t have the wait times that we have.”

The results of the poll show that 50 per cent of Canadians are dissatisfied with their provincial health care systems. This figure is highest in the Atlantic provinces, where two in three are dissatisfied.

Nearly six in 10 Canadians think the rate of growth of public health care spending is unsustainable, while only a quarter think the increase in health spending over the past decade had a positive impact.

The poll also shows that 52 per cent of Canadians agree with the idea of allowing greater access to private health care, while 29 per cent are opposed. This proposition is particularly popular in Quebec, where it is supported by 65 per cent of respondents.

In Quebec, the independently run mini-hospitals project, accessible with the Quebec medicare card, is such a measure. And indeed, the project is supported by 73 per cent of Quebecers polled, with 17 per cent opposed to it.

“Quebecers’ support for the independent mini-hospitals project remains very strong,” says Ms. Faubert. “People have high expectations for this project, and the final version of it must be in line with what was promised during the last election.”

A sample of 1,116 Canadians aged 18 years and over was polled between March 22 and 27, 2024. The margin of error is ± 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The results of the MEI-Ipsos poll are available here.

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank with offices in Montreal and Calgary. 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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