More than half of Canadians uncomfortable with private health care options: Nanos

More than half of Canadians say that they are not comfortable or somewhat not comfortable with having more private health care options, according to new polling from Nanos Research.

The poll, conducted by Nanos Research and sponsored by CTV News and The Globe and Mail, found that 30 per cent of Canadians are not comfortable with having more private health care options and 23 per cent are somewhat not comfortable, totalling 53 per cent of those surveyed.

However, of those surveyed, 30 per cent said they were comfortable with greater privatized health care while 14 percent reported being somewhat comfortable. According to the poll, three per cent of Canadians said they were unsure.

Nanos reported that residents of the Prairies are more likely to be comfortable with increased private health care options compared to other provinces (48 per cent). Those who said they would be uncomfortable with this were mostly found in Quebec (55 per cent) and Ontario (57 per cent).

The poll found that men are more likely to be comfortable with increased private health care services at 37 per cent compared to 24 per cent of women.

As well, 49 per cent of Canadians said that having more private health care options will make the country's health care system weaker while 34 per cent said this would make the system stronger.

According to the polling, those who live in the Prairies (46 per cent) are more likely to say it will strengthen the system than residents of other provinces.

Only nine per cent reported that there would be no impact to the overall health care system, and eight per cent said they were unsure.

The poll found that men were more likely to say privatized health care options would make the system stronger (40 per cent) compared to women (28 per cent).

Canada has a universal health care system, which is paid for through taxes, and provides coverage for necessary health services on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay.

While all of the party leaders support universal health care, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has also advocated for privatized options that go much further than, or is contrary to, what other parties support.

On the party's election platform, the Conservatives say they will “partner with the private sector rather than over-rely on government. We know that there are some things best done by the private sector and will be faster to reach out for help.”

However, O’Toole has been generally vague about what kind of medical care could be privatized

STANCE ON CHILD CARE

The new polling from Nanos also found that Canadians are more likely to prefer subsidized child-care spaces (50 per cent), such as those proposed by the Liberal and NDP parties, than a tax deduction on child-care expenses (40 per cent), like that promised by the Conservative Party.

Of those surveyed, 10 per cent of Canadians said they were unsure of which child-care plan they would prefer.

According to the polling, those who reside in Atlantic Canada are more likely to prefer subsidized child-care spaces at 62 per cent, while those living in the Prairies prefer a tax deduction at 55 per cent.

Women are more likely to prefer the proposals for subsidized child-care spaces (52 per cent), while those between the ages of 18 and 34 (56 per cent) also favoured this promise over a tax deduction on child-care expenses.

The Liberals have promised to reduce fees for child care by 50 per cent, on average, in the next year and introduce $10 a day daycare within five years. Like the Liberals, the NDP are promising a $10 a day child-care system across Canada, although the timeline for it has not been made clear.

Instead of a universal child-care program, the Conservatives are promising a refundable tax credit of between $4,500 and $6,000 per child, with an aim to cover up to 75 per cent of the cost of child care for low-income families.

METHODOLOGY

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,029 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between August 28 and 30, 2021 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada. Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialling with a maximum of five call backs.

The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by CTV News and the Globe and Mail and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.