10TH edition of Health Care in Canada Survey - Canadians believe that wait times and shortage of doctors are the most important health issues

    OTTAWA, Feb. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The 10th annual edition of the Health Care
in Canada Survey, the most comprehensive survey of Canadian public and health
care providers' opinions on health care issues, was released today.
    This edition looks back to see how the views of Canadians have changed
over time with respect to health issues by including a retrospective review of
some of the questions asked in the first survey. While lack of
funding/government cutbacks was deemed the most important issue in 1998, the
Canadian public now believes that wait times (20%) and the shortage of doctors
(19%) are the most important health issues with an aging population a distant
third (8%).
    Just over half (57%) of all Canadians feel that we are receiving quality
health care services in Canada. This has not changed significantly since 2002.
Health care providers have a more positive view than the general population on
this subject. Almost half (48%) of Canadians believe that access to timely,
quality health care will either improve significantly or somewhat over the
next five years. This is the highest level since the question first appeared
in 2002. Canadians, however, continue to be concerned about poor access to
family doctors and specialists.
    For the first time, the survey identified questions on chronic illness.
Over (37%) of the Canadians surveyed reported that they have been diagnosed
with a chronic illness. Of those that identified being diagnosed with a
chronic illness, 87% take at least one regularly prescribed medication. In
addition, almost one-quarter (23%) of Canadians provided care for a family
member or friend with a serious health problem within the last year. When
health professionals were surveyed on addressing chronic illness, they
indicated strong support for implementation of chronic disease management
programs, regular feedback and communication between patients and care
providers, and programs that help patients with self-care.
    The survey finds widespread support for incentives for encouraging the
adoption of new health care technologies (86%), higher medical and nursing
school enrolment levels (82%), more home and community care programs (78%),
increased funding for health research (78%), increasing investments to help
patients manage their chronic illness (72%), and increasing implementation of
wait time guarantees (72%). "While Canadians view government investments in
health care as contributing to a healthy productive society, the survey also
highlights their willingness to take care of their own health and to work in
partnership with healthcare providers" said Don Guy, President of POLLARA.
    Canadians and health professionals alike have a wide-ranging concern
about the health impact of the environment, including the effects of air and
water pollution, increased greenhouses gases and the depletion of natural

    The full report and summary document can be found at

    Methodology: The 10th edition of the Health Care in Canada Survey was
conducted by POLLARA Research between October 3rd and November 8th, 2007.
Results for the survey are based on telephone interviews with nationally
representative samples of 1,223 members of the Canadian public, 202 doctors,
201 nurses, 202 pharmacists and 201 health managers. Public results are
considered to be accurate within +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20, while the
margin of error for results for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and managers is
+/- 6.9%. The questions were developed by POLLARA Research working in
consultation with the Survey partner organizations.

    Survey partner organizations include the Association of Canadian Academic
Healthcare Organizations, Canadian Healthcare Association, Canadian Home Care
Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Health
Charities Coalition of Canada, Université de Montréal - Groupe de recherche en
gestion thérapeutique, Merck Frosst Canada Ltd., POLLARA Research, and Rogers

For further information:

For further information: Glenn Brimacombe, Association of Canadian
Academic Healthcare Organizations, (613) 730-5818, ext. 322; Teresa Neuman,
Canadian Healthcare Association, (613) 241-8005, ext. 205; Nadine Henningsen,
Canadian Home Care Association, (613) 569-1585; Lucie Boileau, Canadian
Medical Association, (613) 731-8610, ext. 1266; Tina Grznar, Canadian Nurses
Association, (613) 237-2159, ext. 283; Deirdre Freiheit, Health Charities
Coalition of Canada, (613) 794-5677; Don Guy, POLLARA Research, (416)
921-0090; Dr. Terry Montague, Université de Montréal - Groupe de recherche en
gestion thérapeutique, (514) 343-6111, ext. 15424

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