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Health Care crisis in Canada-the problem is the politics, and the politicians
  Aug 30, 2004

A targeted telephone survey of 650 British Columbians between August 24-31st, 2004. Respondents were pre-qualified from surveys over the past six months. These respondents had indicated they voted in the most recent BC provincial general election. All respondents had indicated that they had visited a doctor in the past twelve months. This survey was completed throughout 14 regions of British Columbia entirely and features a margin of error of plus or minus 4.25%, 18 times out of 20, @ 97% competency.

Question #1
In your opinion, should a moratorium be placed on private health care clinics in BC, in order to protect the Canada Health Act?
Yes    35.54% %
No    53.69 %
Undecided    10.77 %
Question #2
In your opinion, should elective day care surgeries involving ‘minor’ medical work, be directed to private clinics in order to help with the shortage of hospitals beds?
Yes    60.0 %
No    22.92 %
Undecided    17.08 %
Question #3
Are you impressed with Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals handling of the ‘privatization of some elements of BC Health Care’?
Yes    13.54 %
No    77.54 %
Undecided    8.92 %
Question #4
In your opinion, should beds used in long term care be placed:
Inside hospitals    32.0 %
Outside hospitals    61.38 %
Undecided    6.62 %
Question #5
Which of the following statements best describes your attitude toward private health care clinics offering minor day surgery only:
I accept them if they reduce waiting lists to hospitals and the government pays for treatment in the private clinics-    37.08 %
I accept them if they reduce waiting lists to hospitals and the people who use them pay for the treatments    21.07 %
I do not agree with private health clinics-    22.0 %
I accept them if the private clinics are owned and operated only by doctors and health care providers    19.54 %
Question #6
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein referred to BC Premier Gordon Campbell as ‘a genius’ for suggesting a National Pharmaceutical Health Care Plan. Do you agree with Alberta’s Ralph Klein?
Yes    26.31 %
No    70.92 %
Undecided    2.80 %
Question #7
In your opinion what is more important right now?
A National Pharmaceutical Health Care Plan    36.30 %
A deal with Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Liberal government to properly fund BC’s Health Care system    57.23 %
Undecided    6.46 %
Question #8
Are you aware of the general costs of visits to the doctor’s office, including the ‘cost’ your doctor charges the medical system for your physical examination?
Yes    7.85 %
No    92.15 %
Question #9
-In your opinion; was the recent summit of Canada’s premiers on the subject of health care successful?
Yes    15.69 %
No    31.08 %
I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention to it    53.23 %
Question #10
-If a federal election was held tomorrow, would you support Paul Martin’s liberal government?
Yes    18.62 %
No    66.62 %
Undecided    14.77 %
Question #11
-Do you agree or disagree with this statement: I have absolute confidence in Premier Gordon Campbell’s ability to represent my interests on matters relating to health care:
Agree    15.08 %
Disagree    70.31 %
Undecided    14.62 %
Question #12
-Do you agree or disagree with this statement: I am certain that between Premier Gordon Campbell, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, and Prime Minister Paul Martin, British Columbia’s health care problems will be resolved:
Agree    6.31 %
Disagree    86.31 %
Undecided    7.38 %
Question #13
In your opinion, are overweight and obese people ‘that way’ mostly because:
they have physical and emotional problems    11.38 %
they likely eat too much and exercise too little    81.38 %
Undecided    7.23 %
Question #14
Are overweight and obese BC Liberal MLA’s ‘that way’ mostly because:
they have physical and emotional problems    9.38 %
they likely eat too much and exercise too little    79.07 %
sometimes, people are just built bigger than others-    4.77 %
Undecided    6.77 %
Commentary
Many respondents who want to protect Canada’s Health Act readily admit they don’t have a clue what that ‘statute’ is all about!! Does this mean that political leaders and the media have basically been talking to themselves all these years?
BC mainstream media would have us believe that British Columbians are paying attention to issues and to Premier Gordon Campbell. The fact remains that (whichever is the chicken or the egg), the vast majority of British Columbians are not following the media on political matters, and an absolute majority of British Columbians DO NOT TRUST Premier Gordon Campbell. The Premier lost his credibility with British Columbians well over a year ago. The majority of British Columbians believe that he has an agenda for health care that is not in their best interests.
Based on voter turn-out in the last federal election (June 28, 2004), and the results of this survey, less than four per cent (04%) of British Columbian’s likely eligible to vote are of the opinion that Premier Campbell, Health Minister Dosanjh, and Prime Minister Paul Martin, can resolve Health Care problems. Now that is a crisis of confidence, (in fact this survey is a “vote” of non-confidence)!
This most recent series of national talks on health care seriously underscore the challenge facing, not so much mistrusted political leaders, but British Columbians themselves. We generally know what we want, but we also know it likely doesn’t fit in with the agenda of the political leaders of the time. What can we do?
Respondents want to know why it is that after spending billions of dollars on health care, facts regarding costs cannot be provided to consumers, so that we are better informed about the true nature of health care costs. Many respondents in this survey are convinced that this is purposeful on the part of the government, who does not want us to see the hidden ‘fat’ in the system, including exorbitant management wages for political friends and appointees.
Consumers of health care are also consumers of financial mortgages, automobiles, foodstuffs, retail goods, manufactured goods, middle and high technology equipment and so on. The fact that we have no idea what a simple visit to the doctor’s office, or what a physical examination costs is a clear indication of why there is no real connection or communication between consumers (voters), health care providers, and political leaders.

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