Health Care Reform Report

February 25, 2011


Fixing health care is the most pressing issue for CARP members, they want their governments to begin negotiating the new health accord now and most see home care and more family doctors as key priorities for a health care restructuring which should include national standards for access and care across all provinces and more long term care beds.

Members agree by a factor of two that fixing health care is a more important national priority for this or the next government than either deficit reduction or job creation.

Most members are not aware the health accord governing provincial transfers expires in 2014, but once they learn this, they are insistent that governments start negotiating the next accord now.

Home care, long term care, primary health care teams and more family doctors are important priorities for governments to address when they meet.

There is agreement that provinces should adhere to a set of national standards of care and access in return for their transfers, and many members feel there is a role for the private sector in health care – if they are paid publicly at public rates.

The majority believe the Canadian Medical Association is asking the right questions in its town hall input gathering program, they feel the Canada Health Act should be expanded to cover more than just doctors and hospitals, that national standards for access and care would equate with value in the health care system and that adopting healthy lifestyle practices is the best way to take responsibility for their own good health.

All members agree with the efficacy of primary health care teams (and about half have them), about two thirds have at least one chronic condition and relatively few find the health care system difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, two thirds would find a non-medical health care system ‘navigator’ useful and close to half think their province should offer this service.

Of the five health indicators publicized by the Canada Health Council, members are most interested in the health status indicators such as blood pressure and BMI.

Members do not agree with a free trade deal with the EU which would strengthen patent protection for prescription drugs.

Although relatively few of those members who had to place a family member in long term care had to wait too long, two thirds say it is difficult to get a long term care bed in their province and virtually all say it is important for their provinces to increase the number of beds available.

More members disagree with the sole-sourced F35 jet purchase (about half) than agree with it, many would prefer the contract be put out to bid again and the majority say this decision will be an important factor in their vote in the next election.

The Liberals have swooned since our last wave of polling, while the Conservatives, the NDP and the Green Party have all benefited at their expense.

To read a detailed copy of the report, please click here

Keywords: healthcare, homecare, long-term care