YELLOWKNIFE, NT, Aug. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - A majority of Canadians believe that health care should be the federal government's top priority and that Ottawa should play a leading role in protecting and strengthening the health care system, a new Ekos poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) indicates.
Three in four (75 per cent) Canadians said health care should be the federal government's top priority. A large majority of respondents (87 per cent) believe that the federal government should pay more attention to health care and 85 per cent believe the Government of Canada should play a leading role in protecting and strengthening the health care system, according to the poll.
Six out of 10 respondents viewed the federal role in health care as safeguarding national standards and enforcing the Canada Health Act. In contrast, 37 per cent believe the federal role in health care is limited to funding while provinces lead the delivery of services.
"Our universal health care system is a defining attribute of what it means to be Canadian," said CMA president Dr. Haggie. "We must strive to ensure that, no matter where you live, Canadians can access comparable levels and standards of health care."
More than half (53 per cent) of respondents believe the provinces and territories under the Council of the Federation currently exercise more responsibility for improving health care across Canada, compared to 41 per cent who identify the federal government as the leading jurisdiction.
Asked who should be more responsible for improving the system, respondents were divided, with 50 per cent assigning a leadership role to the federal government and 46 per cent to the Council.
"What this poll tells us is that Canadians see an opportunity for all levels of government to exercise leadership and collaborate to transform health care to make it focused on the needs of patients," said Dr. Haggie "Our health care system originated through collaboration, it is time to bring it back at all levels."
The Ekos Research Associates telephone survey of 1,044 Canadian adults, conducted August 3 to 9, has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
SOURCE: CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach, Canadian Medical Association
Aug 11-15: 867-766-7859 Cell: 613.447.0866
Communications Officer, Canadian Medical Association
Aug 11-15: 867-766-7859 Cell: 613.809-5669