A majority of Canadians support health care reforms including private options and private-public partnerships, according to a poll released by SecondStreet.org on Monday.
These reforms include governments hiring clinics to reduce wait times, allowing patients to pay for services they want at private clinics as well as better data-gathering when it comes to patients dying while waiting for government health care services.
The poll was conducted for SecondStreet.org by Leger between Nov. 26 and 29.
SecondStreet.org president Colin Craig said that health care wait lists have never been longer, and it is causing problems for patients.
“Our new poll shows Canadians are open to reform,” said Craig. “That’s positive as Canada could improve results by copying what some other countries do.”
The poll suggested 67% of Canadians support provincial governments hiring private clinics to provide health care to reduce waitlist backlogs. There were 18% of respondents who said they oppose hiring private clinics, and 15% of them do not know.
A private-public partnership is being used by several provinces to reduce their backlogs, but it has faced some opposition.
The poll claimed 62% of Canadians “strongly support” or “support” allowing people to spend their own money for health care services at private clinics. There were 26% of respondents who oppose allowing people to spend money at private clinics, while 12% of them do not know.
Support for this option has gone up since the beginning of the pandemic, which was at 51% in March 2020.
The poll goes on to show that 79% of Canadians think governments should monitor cases where patients die while waiting for health care. Meanwhile, 9% of respondents oppose data monitoring, and 12% of them do not know.
SecondStreet.org research has shown that such data is often not tracked by health bodies.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said in an interview during the 2020 Conservative leadership race that he supported health care reform.
“We need to ensure universal access remains paramount,” said O’Toole.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland posted a doctored version of the interview to Twitter in August, claiming O’Toole wanted to bring private for-profit health care to Canada.
Freeland’s tweet was flagged as manipulated media soon after it was posted.