OTTAWA, April 15 /CNW/ - By a double-digit margin, health care is the
most important election issue for Canadians living in the Prairie
provinces, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, according to an Ipsos
Reid public opinion poll conducted for the Canadian Medical Association
"This marks the third installment of our regional polling on issues that
matter to Canadians in this federal election and not surprisingly
health care continues to be their top-rated concern," said CMA
President Dr. Jeff Turnbull after the poll was released. "We heard it
in Atlantic Canada, we heard it in B.C. and now we are hearing it in
the heartland - health care is the number one issue Canadians want
The poll found that nearly four in 10 Prairie and Northern Canadians
believe that health care (35 per cent) trumps the economy and jobs (24
per cent) as their top issue for the federal election. Debt and deficit
reduction came in third at 15 per cent. Over three-quarters of
respondents indicated the federal government's role as custodian of the
Canada Health Act is very important.
Nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) believe it is very important that party
leaders present their plan to ensure that Canadians have a sustainable
health care system that meets patient needs, and seven in 10 (69 per
cent) also think it's very important in the context of the election
that the party leaders be willing to address the health care challenges
facing Canadians. Further, nearly two in 10 (17 per cent) said they
would change their vote if the party they currently support failed to
present a plan for the future of health care.
"Earlier this week the federal leaders touched on health care during the
election debates, but Canadians want more from their politicians,"
Turnbull said. "The election campaign is half over and time is running
out for federal parties to tell Canadians how they plan to transform
the health care system so that it meets patients' needs, now and in the
The CMA president has also noted that the current
federal-provincial/territorial accord on health care funding will
expire in 2014 and the government Canadians choose May 2 will likely be
the one to negotiate the next deal. In advance of the next accord, the
CMA has been calling for transformative change to the health care
system. It has also been consulting directly with Canadians, both
online at www.healthcaretransformation.ca and through a series of public town hall meetings.
The Ipsos Reid poll of 1,201 Canadians living in the prairies and
territories was carried out between April 5 and April 7.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian
physicians. Founded in 1867, 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.
SOURCE CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Tel. : 1 800 663-7336 / 613 731-8610 x2135
Cell. : 613 298-4669