Quebecers open to greater private-sector role in healthcare: poll

by Leo Almazora10 Sep 2018

A new poll by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) has found a significant majority of Quebecers are open to allowing private sector delivery of healthcare services within a universal system.

According to the survey, 70% of Quebecers would agree that the Quebec government should give patients increased access to care by private health providers, with medically necessary care continuing to be provided by the government.

“The results of this poll are clear: Quebecers are willing to have the private sector play a larger role in the provision of health care without calling into question the system’s universal nature, rather than continue to throw money at the problem,” Germaine Belzile, MEI senior associate, told The Post Millennial.

In the poll surveying more than 1000 residents of Quebec, 40% somewhat agreed with the idea and 30% completely agreed. Only 21% were opposed — 14% somewhat disagreed, 7% completely disagreed — and the rest did not respond.

The support for private healthcare delivery was in line with other findings of dissatisfaction with the current government management of the health system. Only 22% of respondents in the poll agreed that more healthcare funding from the government over the last 10 years has yielded positive results; 64% thought that the additional funding has not made a positive difference.

“Quebecers’ support for entrepreneurship within a universal health care system is no surprise,” said Patrick Déry, a public policy analyst with MEI. “That’s how it’s done almost everywhere in Europe, where access to health care is better than here.”

While the election campaign in the province is in full swing, none of the four major parties have released any comprehensive platform proposals related to healthcare, according to The Post Millennial. Neither have promises been made in relation to funding or innovation for better or more efficient management of the government-run system.

But to Belzile, finding efficiencies through the status quo of government monopoly is unlikely. “If we had private companies competing with the public sector… we would discover the better ways of doing things,” he asserted. “A monopoly is never a good way to discover what patients want and what are the best ways of doing things.”


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