A recent Angus Reid poll revealed that Canadians hold differing opinions on privatization in healthcare. The poll, conducted in early February, surveyed over 2,000 Canadians and found that 39% opposed privatization of medical care, 28% supported it, and 33% were curious but hesitant about the idea.
Private care proponents believe that increased privatization or hybrid models are necessary for optimal care, while those who are curious but hesitant see the potential value in contracting for-profit doctors and paying for operations but have concerns about access for low-income Canadians and possible staff shortages.
Toronto surgeon David Urbach worries that a ramp-up in private clinics could entice doctors and nurses away from the public sector seeking better pay, leading to longer hospital wait times and reduced quality of care.
The poll results come as the federal government and Canadian premiers work on a $46 billion health care transfer deal that Ottawa claims will be a generational fix for an ailing system.
Canadians are also divided on what constitutes private health care. Over half of respondents said publicly funding private clinic surgeries qualifies, while 33% said it does not.
When it comes to paying out of pocket for treatment, seven in 10 respondents said that it is privatization. The poll also highlighted that when a province pays for a surgery at a private clinic, the cost is kept secret, making it difficult to understand the costs in the for-profit sector.
Canada spends roughly $330 billion annually on healthcare, according to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The Angus Reid Institute conducted the survey online, and a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points 19 times out of 20.»Angus Reid poll shows 39% of Canadians are opposed to privatizing health care«