Toronto, ON – To reduce healthcare costs in Ontario, Ontarians say focus should be placed on prevention and increasing access and funding home and community care, according to a new Ipsos Reid study conducted in the wake of a report tracking major health care costs recently released by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
In Ontario, about 34% of provincial health care spending is used to care for 1% of the Ontario population. This 1% is comprised primarily of those aged 65 and older but also includes those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and cancer from all other age groups including children. As the population ages, the demand on the health care system may increase, as will the need to reduce health care spending. In this Ipsos Reid survey, Ontarians were provided with a list of 12 possible solutions to help reduce the costs associated with treating this 1% and were asked to rate their top three solutions. In an exercise designed to identify savings, Ontarians chose solutions that require investments -- at least in the short term -- suggesting a reluctance to cut services directly to save money.
Nearly one-half (45%) of Ontarians included ‘focus on prevention programs that will reduce the incidence of chronic conditions’ among their top-three proposed solutions, including 18% who listed it as their number one ‘most effective’ solution. Interestingly, younger adults (50%), aged 18-34, are most likely to include prevention among their top-three solutions, compared to 45% of Canadian seniors, aged 55+, and 41% of middle-aged Canadians, aged 35-54.
Second on the list, with 38% of Ontarians including it among their top three solutions, is ‘increasing access to home and/or community care’, with 14% of Ontarians listing it as their number one ‘most effective’ solution. Senior Ontarians (41%) are most likely to have increasing access to home and community care in their top-three solutions, followed by middle-aged (38%) and younger (33%) Ontarians.
While access to home and/or community care services may refer to the availability of these services in the community, it may not adequately address the need to shift priorities to home and/or community care. Rounding out the top three solutions chosen by Ontarians to reduce health care costs is ‘increasing funding to home and/or community care’ (34%). One in ten (10%) Ontarians cite increasing funding to home and community care as their number one ‘most effective’ solution. Middle-aged Ontarians (41%) are the most likely to include increasing funding for care in their top-three solutions, ahead of senior (33%) and younger (25%) Ontarians.
Trailing closely behind, 33% of Ontarians report that ‘improving the coordination of care’ is among the top-three solutions, while three in ten Ontarians believe that health care spending will be reduced by ‘funding preventive medications used to treat chronic conditions’ (31%) or by ‘better informing Ontarians about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise’ (28%) .
Physician’s salaries and the reduction of services were less likely to be cited as solutions, with only one in ten Ontarians including ‘reduce physicians’ salaries’ (14%) or ‘reduce the services we provide to the chronically ill’ (7%) in their top-three solutions. These results suggest that Ontarians value both the services provided by physicians and the need to provide the best care we can to all Ontarians even when doing so may be costly.
The table below outlines the full set of potential solutions included in the survey.1
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1Exact question wording as follows: In Ontario, about 34% of our health care spending is used to care for 1% of the Ontario population. This 1% is comprised primarily of those aged 65 and older but also includes those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and cancer from other age groups. As the population ages, the demand on the health care system may increase. In your opinion, which of the following approaches would be most effective, second most effective and third most effective at reducing the costs for treating this 1%?
These are some of the findings of Ipsos Reid research conducted between December 10th to 17th, 2012. For this survey, a sample of 804 Ontarians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.9 percentage points of the general population of Ontario adults. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Pina Pejovic, PhD
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.
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