Canadian Health Coalition

Canadians want future budget surpluses invested in healthcare, want secure federal funding not tied to the economy

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013

NEWS RELEASE

OTTAWA — Canadians are more likely to want the federal government to invest future budget surpluses in healthcare (45%) compared to reducing the national debt (37%) or tax cuts (16%). This according to the results of a survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Health Coalition by Nanos Research.

The survey results are being released as National Medicare Week gets underway from December 2nd to 7th. The Canadian Health Coalition and concerned Canadians from across the country will be on Parliament Hill on December 3rd, meeting with MPs on healthcare and the expiry of the 2004 Health Accord in March of next year.

The Nanos survey also shows that the majority of Canadians want the federal government to provide fixed healthcare funding to the provinces that does not see-saw according to the relative strength of the economy. When offered a choice between federal healthcare funding that fluctuates according to the health of the economy, and federal funding that provides a fixed share to the provinces to meet the needs of their residents, 65% of respondents chose the latter.

“Canadians recognize that healthcare needs go up in tough times and that cutting funding at precisely the time it is most needed does not make any kind of sense,” said Michael McBane, Executive Director of the Canadian Health Coalition. “It is time for the federal government to step up, provide fixed funding and help meet the urgent healthcare needs of an aging population, people with physical and mental challenges, and children and young adults with special needs.”

“Canadians are ready for some common sense from the federal government when it comes to funding healthcare,” said Mr. McBane. “The need for senior and continuing care services is increasing so we need a federal seniors care plan not the federal cuts to health transfers announced by the Harper government.”

The same survey shows that more than four out of ten Canadians are worried about being able to afford or have access to healthcare as a senior, and more than six in ten are open to paying higher taxes if it meant homecare costs or drug costs would be covered.

This study was conducted by Nanos Research and commissioned by the Canadian Health Coalition. A national Nanos RDD Omni Crowdsource random survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between November 19th and 24th, 2013. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted using the latest Census data. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Canadian Health Coalition is a public advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of Medicare.

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For more information:

Michael McBane, Executive Director
Canadian Health Coalition
251 Bank Street, Suite 212
Ottawa, ON K2P 1X3
Tel. (613) 277- 6295
Email: Mike@medicare.ca
Web: www.healthcoalition.ca
Follow Michael on Twitter (@michael_mcbane)