Canadians agree: More federal government health leadership needed in a COVID world

OTTAWA, December 9, 2020 – A new poll commissioned by HealthCareCAN reveals that while Canadians believe the health system has responded acceptably to the pandemic, the federal government should play a bigger role in healthcare by providing more resources and sustainable funding for healthcare and health infrastructure and ensuring pan-Canadian standards and guidelines are in place.

“COVID-19 has proven that Canada’s patchwork health system needs urgent attention – and investment – from Ottawa,” said Paul-Émile Cloutier, President and CEO of HealthCareCAN, “Canada is blessed with some of the best frontline healthcare providers, care and support staff in the world and we need to build a system that better supports their ability to provide timely, high-quality care.”

The poll, conducted between November 26 and December 1, 2020 by Abacus Data on behalf of HealthCareCAN, found that while Canadians had confidence in the quality of care provided by the healthcare system, they have growing concerns about infrastructure capacity within system, specifically:

  • 57% report concern over the lack of available hospital beds, up 22% from June 2019;
  • 56% worried that there’s not enough medical equipment available to treat patients, up 18% since June 2019;
  • 80% agreed the federal government should invest directly in hospitals to achieve national healthcare goals;
  • 90% believed improving the quality and capacity of hospitals should be either a top or high priority for the federal government;
  • 74% agreed the federal government should play a leadership role in healthcare even if that is a provincial responsibility.

“COVID-19 has starkly exposed to Canadians some of the pre-existing challenges that our health care system faces and that knowledge is driving a desire for national leadership to address those challenges,” said David Coletto, Founder and CEO of Abacus Data. “Few people feel squabbles about jurisdictional responsibilities are warranted, most want leadership and action to improve healthcare.”

Canadians are also acutely aware that our country’s frontline health workers are shouldering the brunt of the pandemic’s effects and want to give back. An overwhelming number (80%) support the creation of a tax credit in recognition of their hard work and sacrifice.

“Canadians see the sacrifices being made by our frontline health workers and believe their national government should act now,” continued Mr. Cloutier. “Providing some tax relief for these hardworking, dedicated individuals is the least we can do for those who have been giving so much.”

More information on the results of the poll are available here.

About the Poll
The survey was conducted with 1,988 Canadian adults from November 26 to December 1, 2020. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

About Abacus Data
Abacus Data is the only research and strategy firm that helps organizations respond to the disruptive risks and opportunities in a world where demographics and technology are changing more quickly than ever.

We are an innovative, fast-growing public opinion and marketing research consultancy. We use the latest technology, sound science, and deep experience to generate top-flight research-based advice to our clients. We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail and exceptional value.

About HealthCareCAN
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare. 

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Media contact:
Alexandria Rowe
Communications and Member Services
855-236-0213/613-241-8005 ext. 221 │ Cell:  613-220-1023