Canadians Turn To Nursing Organizations To Obtain Trustworthy Healthcare Information

Nearly all (84%) Canadians Trust the Information Given to them by Nursing Organizations While only three in ten (30%) rate the Quality of Healthcare in Canada as `Excellent' or `Very Good', Canadians credit Frontline Workers for Major Responsibility of Quality Care

Toronto, ON - When hearing information about the Canadian healthcare system, the results of a new Ipsos Reid poll show that Canadians find information from nurses' organizations to be the most trustworthy. In fact, nearly all Canadians (84%) trust information that comes from organizations representing nurses, while nearly eight in ten (77%) trust information from organizations representing doctors. Further, two thirds (64%) trust healthcare information coming from chief executives of hospitals and other health authorities, while six in ten (60%) are inclined to trust information from the provincial minister of health. Rounding out the list of trustworthy sources are the federal minister of health (57%) and editorial writers and commentators (51%).

When rating the quality of healthcare in Canada, just three in ten (30%) rated it as being `very good' (25%) or `excellent' (5%). Moreover, four in ten (38%) said that the quality of healthcare in Canada is `good', while one third (31%) indicated that the quality is `fair' (22%) or `poor' (10%).

It appears that Canadians hold the frontline workers in hospitals as being among most responsible for ensuring quality care in the healthcare system. From among those who rated the quality of healthcare in Canada as good or better, nearly one quarter (23%) of Canadians credit doctors as being the major party responsible for the quality of care in Canada, while their closest partners, nurses, are close behind (21%) for being responsible for the quality of healthcare in Canada. The provincial (22%) and the federal governments (19%) are also key players, while managers of hospitals and other facilities (11%) round out the list of those primarily responsible for the quality of care.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions from May 29 to May 31, 2007. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1004 adults across Canada was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within 177 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

Nearly All (84%) Canadians Trust The Information Given To Them By Nursing Organizations...

When hearing information about the Canadian healthcare system, placing organizations that represent nurses at the top of the heap, nearly all Canadians (84%) trust information that comes from organizations representing nurses, while nearly eight in ten (77%) trust information from organizations representing doctors. Further, two thirds (64%) trust healthcare information coming from chief executives of hospitals and other health authorities, while six in ten (60%) are inclined to trust information from the provincial minister of health. Rounding out the list of trustworthy sources are the federal minister of health (57%) and editorial writers and commentators (51%).

  • Canadians residing in Ontario are the most likely to trust information from organizations that represent nurses, with 87% indicating that they do so.
  • Alberta (86%), Quebec (85%) and Atlantic Canada (85%) are not far behind.
  • Nine in ten (91%) Canadians living in a rural setting trust what organizations representing nurses have to say.
  • A similar proportion (89%) of university-degree holders trust the information that nursing organizations give them.
  • In every demographic grouping studied, more people trust organizations that represent nurses over any of the other organizations listed when it comes to trusting what they have to say.
  • It appears that British Columbians have difficulty trusting what anybody has to say, showing lower levels of trust to all organizations listed than the rest of Canada, with the exception of the trust shown to editorial writers and commentators.
  • Similarly, just over half (51%) of British Columbians trust what their provincial minister of health has to say.

Only Three In Ten (30%) Rate The Quality Of Healthcare In Canada As `Excellent' Or `Very Good'...

With more Canadians giving the healthcare system in Canada a mediocre grade rating of `good' (38%), only three in ten (30%) Canadians would rate the system in Canada as being `very good' (25%) or `excellent' (5%). Perhaps as a result of a bad experience, or high expectations, nearly three in ten (31%) rate the system as being `fair' (22%) or `poor' (10%).

  • Over one third (35%) of Albertans rate the healthcare system as being `very good' (30%) or `excellent' (5%), while only two in ten (20%) Quebecers rate the system as being `very good' (17%) or `excellent' (3%).
  • British Columbians are most likely to give a negative assessment of the healthcare system in Canada, with nearly four in ten (38%) indicating that the system is `fair' (26%) or `poor' (12%).
  • Younger Canadians, aged 18-34, give the system a better assessment, with 36% agreeing that the system is `very good' (32%) or `excellent' (3%), compared to only 27% of middle aged Canadians, aged 35-54, who say that the system is `very good ` (22%) or `excellent' (5%).
  • Men (33%) are more likely than women (27%) to give the system an `excellent' or `very good' rating.
  • An apparent knowledge gap exists, with 36% of Canadians holding a university degree rating the Canadian healthcare system as being `very good' (31%) or `excellent' (5%), while just two in ten (21%) individuals without a high school diploma give the system a `very good' (19%) or `excellent' (3%) assessment.

Canadians Primarily Credit Frontline Workers For Major Responsibility Of Quality Of Care...

From among those who rate the quality of healthcare in Canada as being good, very good or excellent, Canadians primarily credit frontline workers, doctors (23%) and nurses (21%), for the major responsibility of quality care. The provincial government (22%) and the federal government (19%) also bear responsibility, while managers of hospitals and other facilities (11%) round out the list of those being responsible for the quality of care in the healthcare system.

  • Albertans (33%) and British Columbians (30%) disproportionately credit their provincial governments as being the major party responsible for the quality of care in the healthcare system. This is compared to just 17% of Ontarians who think the same.
  • One quarter (25%) of Ontarians credit nurses as being responsible for the quality of care in the Canadian healthcare system. Among Ontarians, this is the highest of all groups and organizations.
  • Differing greatly from the national average of 11%, nearly three in ten (27%) Quebecers lay responsibility for the quality of care in the healthcare system with the managers of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
  • Albertans are the most likely (27%) of all regions in Canada to give credit to the federal government for the quality of care found in the Canadian healthcare system.
  • Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the most likely (25%) of all regions in Canada to give credit to doctors for the care found in the Canadian healthcare system.

What Do Canadians Think Would Make The System Better?

A day without a discussion about how to improve the healthcare system in Canada is very rare. Despite political posturing and rhetoric, Canadians have their own ideas about how to address issues such as wait times for surgery and other services, physician and nursing shortages, pharmacare, and infrastructure upgrades for patient care, all of which might not necessitate the creation of a second tier of healthcare in Canada. Canadians were presented with a list of five solutions, and this is what they thought:

  • Nine in ten (90%) agreed that hiring more nurses to reduce waiting times to receive medical or surgical attention could help in addressing some of the issues with the system.
  • A similar margin (89%) agreed that extending coverage of publicly-insured services to include access to home care, long-term care, mental-health care, and drug benefits could help.
  • Three quarters (73%) agreed that developing a Canada-wide government financed Pharmacare program that would provide to Canadians most doctor-prescribed drugs without charge could help solve many of the systems current problems.
  • Two thirds (67%) agree that recruiting nurses and physicians through free university tuition could help in addressing some of these issues.
  • Six in ten (62%) agree that increasing personal taxes by about fifty dollars a year to eliminate upfront costs for prescription drugs could help in addressing some of these issues.

For more Information on this news release, please contact:
John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
416-324-2902
John.Wright@ipsos-reid.com

About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

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