Thursday, November 24, 2011

Support for public health care soars

Canadian News Wire
November 24, 2011

An overwhelming 94-percent of Canadians support public - not private, for-profit - solutions to making the country's healthcare system stronger - with an equal number of Conservatives flying the banner for public health care. 

A new poll conducted by Nanos Research, released on the eve of National Medicare Week (Nov. 27- Dec. 3), revealed the soaring Canada-wide support, up nearly 10-percent from a similar poll conducted a little over a year ago. Support has risen to a record 94-percent, from a strong showing in August 2010 of 86-percent, underlining that more than nine in ten Canadians support public solutions to making public healthcare stronger.

"There are two issues at play here," Nik Nanos, President of Nanos Research, noted. "First, healthcare continues to be a top issue of national concern for Canadians. The second point is that right across the board, regardless of political affiliation or other demographics, support for public solutions in health care has increased over the past three years."

The new poll was commissioned on behalf of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) and surveyed 1,202 Canadians between Oct. 20 and 24, 2011. The results are considered accurate within 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The results were good news for the CHC, a national organization that advocates for the protection and expansion of Canada's public health system, who said the polling results should serve as a loud wake up call to the Harper government.

"Canadians are looking for federal leadership to protect and improve the public health care system," said Michael McBane, national coordinator of the CHC. "With the 2004 Health Accord up for renewal in 2014, the federal government needs to work with provinces and territories to make healthcare - and a renewed 10-year plan - a top priority.

The current government's lack of leadership, combined with a history of abdicating its federal healthcare responsibilities along with its penchant for turning its back on enforcing national standards and compliance with the Canada Health Act are all causes for concern," said McBane.

As a result, the CHC will be carrying its message to 100 parliamentarians on December 1, seeking their support to protect and improve Medicare. As well, the CHC has planned an evening symposium for Nov. 30. Secure the Future of Medicare: A Call to Care will feature keynote speaker Roy Romanow, chair of the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, Andre Picard, senior health reporter and others who will discuss the future of Medicare in Canada.

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