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Most Canadians confident in health-care system despite pandemic: poll

FILE - A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face shield, an N95 mask and gloves communicates with a colleague moving a patient from an ambulance to the emergency department at Royal Columbian Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on April 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Three-quarters of Canadians maintain confidence in the country's health-care system, according to a poll

Most people say if the government does have to make funding cuts, it shouldn't be to hospitals

Long wait times are the biggest problem in health-care, according to 31 per cent of Canadians

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The health-care system has been forced to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it appears quite a few people still have confidence in it, according to a poll.

More than three-quarters of 1,000 people polled nationally by Research Co. say they would be very confident or moderately confident the system would be there for them if they had an unexpected medical problem.

“Even in the midst of the pandemic and all of the questions that we have about the health-care system and medical services in the country, we still see a large number of Canadians who have confidence in the systems itself,” says Mario Canseco, Research Co. president.

“I was expecting a little of a drop in the level of confidence from Canadians in the health-care systems because of the uncertainties we’ve faced over the past few months, and the numbers are definitely similar to what we found last year.”

Most people also say if the government does have to make funding cuts, it shouldn’t be to hospitals.

“The appetite for Canadians to reduce expenditures from health-care is just not there. We have a large majority of Canadians who say, ‘If you’re going to cut something, cut something that is not health-care,'” he says.

On the issue of privatization, it seems more than half of those polled say moving away from the public system wouldn’t improve things.

The poll found on a regional basis, Ontarians are more likely to express confidence in the health-care system (82 per cent) compared to British Columbians (75 per cent). Alberta also has 75 per cent support, while Quebec is slightly less (74 per cent). As for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, both show 69 per cent, and 67 per cent for Atlantic Canada.

Long wait times are the biggest problem in health-care, according to 31 per cent of Canadians. Second is a shortage of doctors are nurses, then bureaucracy and poor management.