Canadians expect federal government to lead on health care

A new survey conducted by Nanos Research and released today by the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC), of which Friends of Medicare is the Alberta affiliate, suggests that there is a fundamental disconnect between Canadians and a number of health policies of the Harper Government.

Key among the findings are the views of Canadians that the federal government has a significant leadership role in securing the future of public health care in Canada. More than nine in ten Canadians either agree (83 percent) or somewhat agree (10 percent) with this position, a five-point increase since 2012.

“As we near the next Council of the Federation, it’s clear that Canadians demand federal leadership on health care,” said Michael McBane, Executive Director of the CHC. “The Harper government has failed in terms of the leadership on healthcare that Canadians expect.”

The survey also suggests that 85 per cent of Canadians support (79.6) or somewhat support (5.6) public solutions to strengthen our public health care. “There is a strong political appetite to get the federal government at the table and to find public solutions,” says McBane. “The meeting of the
Premiers is a key opportunity to find public solutions as two out of every three Canadians want their Premier to take a strong stand to oppose changes to health care funding. The federal policies are putting the health of Canadians and the strength of the health care system at risk.”

Canadians also disagree with Harper government’s changes to health care funding. They oppose (68 percent) or somewhat oppose (15 percent) the overall reduction in funding to the provinces over time. 

A strong majority of Canadians (seven in ten) oppose the government’s policy of linking funding to the strength of the economy as well as treating all the provinces the same regardless of their needs (almost seven in ten oppose).

“Regardless of where Canadians live and work or where they travel in our country, we should be able to expect quality public health care,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “Our Alberta government needs to demand that the federal government provide leadership in health care to ensure we have high standards throughout the country for now and for future generations.”



The results are based on a national random survey conducted by Nanos Research between July 22 and 29, 2014. Respondents were recruited through a random telephone survey (land- and cell-lines) using live agents and invited to share their views online. In order to be representative of Canadians, the results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample was geographically stratified. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.

Download the Nanos report