Health Care a Vote Changer for a Quarter of Atlantic Canadians: poll

OTTAWA, April 2 /CNW/ - One in four (24 per cent) Atlantic Canadians would be very likely to change their vote if the party they currently support fails to present a plan for the future of health care, according to a public opinion poll conducted for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

"As the campaign picks up steam and voters start to focus on the issues, they're saying in increasing numbers that the future of health care matters more to them than any other issue," said CMA President Dr. Jeff Turnbull. "Those vying to lead our country should not ignore the fact that many Atlantic Canadians consider health care to be the main ballot box question."

Close to 40 per cent of Atlantic Canadians surveyed said health care trumps the economy and jobs as their top issue for the federal election. The Ipsos Reid poll, carried out from March 29 to 31, also indicates that most (85 per cent) Atlantic Canadians believe the federal government's role as custodian of the Canada Health Act is very important. Eight in 10 believe it's very important that party leaders present their plan to ensure that Canadians have a sustainable health care system that meets patient needs, and eight in 10 think it's very important in the context of the election that the party leaders be willing to address the health challenges facing Canadians.

"Canadians want to know the parties' vision, plan and strategies for the future of our health care system," Turnbull said. "The question to ask those running for office is simple: 'What's your plan for health care?'"

The CMA president also said that this election is particularly crucial as the current federal-provincial/territorial accord on health care funding expires in 2014. Since late last year, the CMA has been leading a national dialogue on health care transformation, online at www.healthcaretransformation.ca and through a series of public town hall meetings.

The Canadian Medical Association is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 74,000 of Canada's physicians and uniting at the national level the voices of 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 affiliated or associated national medical specialty organizations.

SOURCE CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

For further information:

Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations
lucie.boileau@cma.ca
Tel. :    1 800 663-7336/613 731-8610 ext. 1266
Cell. :    613 447-0866



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CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

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