Politics, oil and gas and health care make for strange bedfellows
May 8, 2019
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Those looking for ammunition to fight the carbon tax may have found an ally in Canada’s medical community.
A new Ipsos report commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) shows 53 per cent of Canadians said they’re worried about health care, as opposed to the 20 per cent who are concerned about a carbon tax.
While health care has long been a ballot box issue for Canadians, these latest numbers reveal more about potential voting behaviour: Six out of 10 respondents suggested they’d vote for a political party that they think has the best plan for the future of health care in Canada.
“Every election, health care tops the list for Canadians and yet, our federal leaders do little to truly address it”, says Dr. Gigi Osler, CMA president. “This time around, it’s different. Canadians are no longer willing to wait for action or to see services fall victim to budget cuts.”
In fact, the survey indicates that two thirds of Canadians worry about governments cutting health care services to balance their budgets, while half of those surveyed believe they’ll eventually need to pay more for health care services.
Wait times and shortage of health professionals top worries
When asked about more specific health care worries, six in 10 Canadians said they worry a great deal about long wait times (62 per cent), the shortage of health professionals (60 per cent) and crowded hospitals (59 per cent).
“We’re hearing more and more devastating stories of Canadians struggling to get the care they need, from younger Canadians looking for mental health support to seniors waiting weeks for a long-term care bed,” adds Dr. Osler. “This federal election, we’ll be telling federal political parties that it’s time for leadership on health. Patients and health care providers can no longer and will no longer wait.”
Climate change remains a concern for Canadians
When asked about personal worries, three in 10 respondents were concerned about the impact of climate change. From the respiratory issues caused by wildfires and post-flood mould, to the mental health impacts of sudden evacuations, the effects of climate change on Canadians’ health should not be underestimated and our system must be prepared to address them.