One out of three people consider that access to a family doctor is still the number one health care priority. This was revealed by a survey conducted by Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ (H+K) Perspectives+ panel of 1000 respondents regarding health care priorities in the context of the provincial electoral campaign currently underway.
Despite the succession of elections and surveys, health care remains a priority in Quebec and occupies a central position in the different political parties’ electoral platforms. In the context of the electoral campaign currently underway, we wanted to survey Quebecers on health care priorities. We asked respondents about their health care priorities, as well as areas where the Quebec government should invest more in this key sector.
The results speak for themselves. Even though, according to government data, a million more people have accessed a family doctor since 2014, access to a family doctor remains an important concern, as 33 per cent of respondents consider that it is still the priority. Within the age group of 45 to 54, 41 per cent consider it to be a priority. However, access to a family doctor is the priority issue for all sub-categories, regardless of age groups, regional representation, education or average income.
The second-place priority issue for health care is the reduction of wait times at the emergency room, with 23 per cent of respondents considering it to be the priority. It is interesting to note that for people aged 25 to 34, like those 65 years and older, wait times at the emergency room and access to a family doctor have almost equal importance, with results of 28 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.
Regarding care and services in the CHSLD, 15 per cent of respondents consider this issue a priority, making it third in importance amongst the identified priorities. This proposal is notably considered a priority by the 55 to 64 age group (19 per cent). Home care comes in at fourth place, with 10 per cent of respondents indicating this to be the priority issue in health care. It is also interesting to note that people aged 65 and older prefer that investments are made in larger proportions in home care (19 per cent) instead of in the CHSLD (13 per cent).
Proposals Considered Less of a Priority but Still Important
Other proposals regarding investments in health care identified as priorities are presented in decreasing order: dental care (8 per cent), access to medication and technologies (5 per cent) and renovation of hospitals (3 per cent). Although the distribution by age group remained roughly the same for the last two proposals, H+K notes that the 35 to 44 age group demonstrates the strongest support for investments in dental care (14 per cent), while people aged 55 and over demonstrate a lower level of support (4 per cent).
Finally, we also asked the people surveyed to indicate the issue that represented their second and third priority. Again, wait times at the emergency room, access to a family doctors, and care and services in the CHSLDs received scores well above other proposals, thus suggesting that the priorities of Quebecers in health care are concentrated around these three big topics.
*Survey source: Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Quebec, September 5-10, 2018: Weighted in function of age, sex and the region; Total n = 1 000, margin of error 3.1 per cent.