December 10, 2010
CARP members display a dichotomy in their views of the private sector in Canadian health care. While the vast majority find universality important (regardless of whether they think it is enforced), a majority also sees a role for the for-profit private sector. While the majority reject user fees, user co-payments and a general health tax, a significant minority agree user fees could reduce demand and/or raise revenues. Nevertheless, members are far more likely to agree that fundamental restructuring will do more to solve Canada’s health care program than a process of revenue enhancement, or, indeed, any involvement by the private sector.
Virtually all CARP members have family doctors, but very few of them do house calls
One half of CARP members’ doctors use e-records
CARP members visited a doctor, a clinic or a hospital, on average, about four times last year, and most of these visits were to a family doctor
The vast majority of CARP members think prescription drugs, dentistry or both should be covered in Canada
More than half think the for-profit private sector has a role to play in Canada’s health care system, but about a third think this involvement will lead to reduced universality
It is important to the strong majority that no one “jumps the line” for health care in Canada, but two thirds believe it happens now
A Canadian-style single payer model is slightly preferred for health care to a European multiple payer model
Somewhat fewer than half agree with user fees for doctor and clinic visits, and more than this agree user fees would raise revenue, reduce demand or both, although reducing demand is seen to be more likely
There is less agreement on the idea of users paying part of their health care fees, or for a health care tax based on income.
More than three quarters believe Canada’s health care system needs fundamental restructuring at least urgently or more so.
Popular ideas for reducing health care demand include having nurses take on doctors’ duties, modest user fees, illness prevention and vaccinations and training and licensing more doctors
Members are more than twice as likely to agree with a program of fundamental restructuring as they are to agree with a program of taxation and revenue raising as a solution to Canada’s unsustainable health care spending growth, and restructuring is widely seen to be more effective than the alternative
Two third of members correctly estimate wait times are getting worse, while just half this proportion feels they are getting better
One half of members assume prescription drugs are very safe or more, until they are told of the lack of after-market trials, when just one quarter adopt this position, and more than three quarters agree with a proposal to institute monitoring and market testing of new drugs.
Despite the fact the Conservatives maintain a healthy lead in member support, when other electoral outcomes are discussed, an electoral combination which includes the Liberals and/or the NDP draws even with the Conservatives.