Canadians Want Health Care to be the Focus for Political Parties in the Lead Up to the Election This Fall

Enough Health Care Providers (44%), Universal Pharmacare Program (35%) and Access to Mental Health Services (33%) Seen as Most Important Health Issues

The author(s)

  • Jennifer McLeod Macey Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, June 13, 2019 —  While carbon tax has been much talked about in the media recently, it is health care by a wide margin that Canadians want to see political parties focus on addressing in their election platforms for the federal election this fall. According to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), half (50%) of Canadians rank health care in their top three issues that should be focused on, well ahead of other issues, including climate change (33%), taxes (33%), poverty (23%), education (22%) and immigration (20%). One in five (22%) rank health care as their number one priority. Those in Atlantic Canada (39%, lowest in Alberta 15%), Canadians 55 and over (29% vs. 14% 18-34, 22% 35-54) and women (26% vs. 18% men) are most likely to rank health care as their number one priority.

If a political party was to propose a plan to improve health care in Canada, Canadians state that ensuring there are enough health care providers (44%), implementing a universal pharmacare program (35%) and improving access to mental heal services (33%) would be the three most important issues that should be included in the plan.

A Health Care Focused Platform Could Sway Votes at the Ballot Box

Canadians were asked how much they support, or how important they think three health issues are, and then if they would be more or less likely to vote for a political party that championed solutions to these. The issues are – a universal pharmacare program, improving the availability of mental health issues, and supporting the implementation of a “Patient’s Medical Home Vision”; described as “a vision of family practice that offers high quality care centred on the needs of the patient. This care is delivered by a dedicated team of health professionals, within their community, throughout every stage of life, and effectively integrated with other health services”.

Three-quarters (75%) of Canadians support implementing a universal pharmacare program in Canada, with over four in ten (45%) strongly supporting this initiative. Canadians on the Atlantic coast are most likely to strongly support a universal pharmacare program (58%), as are those with incomes under $60,000 (51% vs. 40% $100,000+).

There is ubiquitous recognition among Canadians that improving access to mental health services in Canada is important (96%), with two-thirds believing it to be very important (64%). Those under 35 (68% vs. 61% 55+, 63% 35-54) and women (68% vs. 59% men) are most likely to believe it is very important to improve access to these services.

Nearly all Canadians believe the Patient’s Medical Home Vision is important (94%), with half (51%) believing it to be very important. Women (57% vs. 45% men), those 55 and over (56% vs. 47% 18-34, 49% 35-54), Atlantic Canada and Quebec residents (55% Atlantic Canada, 54% Quebec vs. 44% Prairies) and those with a family doctor (53% vs. 44% no family doctor) are significantly more likely to believe this vision to be very important.

All three of these issues have the potential to sway votes this federal election. For each issue, seven in ten Canadians say they would be more likely to vote for a political party that adopted policies to tackle these:
• Universal pharmacare program (68% more likely – 29% much more/39% somewhat more likely)
• Improve availability of mental health services (71% more likely – 29% much more/41% somewhat more likely)
• Support implementing Patient’s Medical Home Vision (69% more likely – 23% much more/46% somewhat more likely)

Those in Atlantic Canada are the most likely to say they’d be much more likely to vote for a political party that adopted a universal pharmacare program (39%), planned to improve availability of mental health services (38%) and supported implementing the Patient’s Medical Home Vision (30%). Canadians under 35 are the most likely to say they’d be more likely to vote for a political party planning to improve access to mental health services (41% vs. 21% 55+, 28% 35-54).

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 10th to May 13th, 2019. For this survey, a sample of 2,004 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Jennifer McLeod Macey, Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs, Canada
+1 416 502 2749
jennifer.macey@ipsos.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.
With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.
Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.
Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)

  • Jennifer McLeod Macey Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs

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