Canadians Concerned Over Costs of Long-Term Care

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Results of a new poll released today by
the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) reveal that only just over half (55%)
of Canadians are confident they will have enough savings to afford their own
long-term care.
    "When Medicare was created in the sixties, politicians decided that only
doctor and hospital services should be covered," said CMA President Dr. Colin
McMillan. "Well, it's clear from the polling results released today that
Canadians feel that our bell-bottom-era system could use some updating to
address the realities of health care in the twenty-first century."
    The CMA commissioned public polling on the continuum of care - the array
of health services that are used by individuals - to inform both the release
of its Medicare Plus document and discussions to take place today among
delegates to General Council in Vancouver.
    The poll sought to find out what services were most important to
Canadians, their level of worry as to being able to afford various services in
the future, and what services should be a priority for governments.

    The poll found:

    - 55% were very or somewhat confident they would be able to cover long-
      term care expenses and 43% were not;
    - Most (37%) thought long-term care should be the top priority if
      medicare were to be expanded, followed by home care (26%); prescription
      drugs (18%); dental care (11%); and vision care (2%);
    - Canadians were split evenly as to whether the government should cover a
      portion of catastrophic drug expenses that exceed a certain amount of
      income (40%), or 70% of all Canadians' prescription drug expenses
      (40%). Only 16% said government should cover 100% of Canadians'
      prescription drug expenses.
    - 50% said governments should maintain 100% funding of doctor and
      hospital services, even if individuals or their insurance would be
      fully responsible for other services;
    - 46% said governments should use existing funding to fund 70% of all
      health care services including doctors' visits, hospital services, drug
      coverage, home care and dental care, even if individuals or their
      insurance would pay the difference.

    "In less than five years the first of the post-war baby boomers will turn
65 and Canada will face a long-term care crunch," said Dr. Colin McMillan, the
CMA President. "Our system, focused largely on covering hospital and physician
services, needs to adapt and grow to address new realities and meet new
    Ipsos-Reid surveyed 1,001 Canadian adults between June 19 and 29, 2007.
This sample provides a +/-3.2% margin of error for the overall national
findings 19 times out of 20.
    The poll can be accessed at:

For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations, (604)
648-1333 (from August 19-22 at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver (BC)

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