Checking in With Canadians on Their Healthcare System: 2013 Score Cards on Ease of Access, Patient Experience

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Toronto, ON – A new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid and released at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement CEO Forum in Montreal shows that citizen-patient perceptions among the largest segment of the Canadian population (the pre-retirement adult cohort aged 18 to 64) rank Ontario as the most improved healthcare system over past five years for ease of access and patient experience, followed by the Prairies (Manitoba/Saskatchewan) not far behind, with Alberta and Quebec tied in the middle, Atlantic Canada much further back and British Columbia well back at the bottom.

Healthcare has been a top issue among Canadians for decades. And while it has been wrestled from its perch at times by sporadic issues of the day, it always returns to be a primary focus for Canadians—especially for those aged 18 to 64 who are the prime work force, the primary consumer-citizens and the largest citizen-patient group of the nation’s healthcare system.

Within this reality, the Ipsos poll shows two very stark realities shaping the context for how healthcare decision-makers and influencers can move things forward.

The first is the significant disparity that exists across the provinces/regions in perceptions that the healthcare system has momentum toward improvement on access overall. Ontario and the Prairies are clearly out front in assessing their healthcare systems on access improvement with BC, Quebec and Atlantic consistently lower.

The second is the growing importance of “value” in the public opinion healthcare equation. Partly driven by the new economic reality created by the economic collapse in 2008 among citizens and also because of the focus on the “value” of tax payer dollars amidst large government deficits, it might also be the natural result of an increasing focus by many in the healthcare system to view people as “customers.” We know that perceptions of value do not replace the importance of access or the quality care in the public’s mind. But it does add an increasingly important lens through which Canadians evaluate their healthcare system, and therefore an important context within which healthcare decision-makers and influencers need to shape their positioning and delivery of healthcare services to Canadians.

The good news for Canada’s healthcare system is that there appears to be an overall net perception of both improved access to healthcare services and patient experience among this adult segment.

The bad news, however, is that not every province or region has citizen-patients who view the situation that way—some being much worse than the national average—and there is a majority (52%) of respondents who ‘disagree’ that ‘the healthcare system they experience is efficient in a way that maximizes the use of dollars allocated or paid for healthcare in ways that don’t waste money or resources with that statement.

To continue reading, a full version of the press release can be downloaded from the right column.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
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.

To learn more, please visit

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Checking in With Canadians on Their Healthcare System: 2013 Score Cards on Ease of Access, Patient Experience


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America