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Majority of Canadians support private options for medical care



As some provinces turn to the private sector to address pressures on the health care system, a new survey suggests that more Canadians than ever are open to the idea of private health care delivery.


The Ipsos poll conducted for Global News between January 19 and 23, 2023 found that 59% of respondents expressed support for private delivery of publicly funded health care.


Sixty percent of respondents also favored private health care for those who can afford it.


Darrell Bricker, executive director of Ipsos Public Affairs, says that in the 30 years he has studied public opinion in Canada, he has never seen such a big shift in support for privatization.


"This is the first time that I can remember where he actually got numbers like that, where a majority of Canadians say they are open to considering private methods of delivery," he stated.


Until now, maintaining Canada's public health care system has been a "cornerstone" of Canadian policy, and any mention of privatization has met with strong resistance, even revulsion, and raised fears of moving toward a U.S.-style access system, he said.


But given that the vast majority of Canadians surveyed, 85%, now say they believe "drastic changes" are needed in the health care system to meet community needs, attitudes toward privatization appear to be changing, Bricker said.

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