Two in five Canadians had difficulty getting health care, poll finds

Difficulty finding health care

Over a six-month period, two in five Canadians — about 12.8 million adults — couldn’t access health care or had difficulty doing so, according to a new Angus Reid poll.

The pollster looked at patient access to five services — non-emergency care, emergency care, surgery, diagnostic testing and specialist appointments — as part of a new cross-border study, and found Americans were twice as likely as Canadians to report comfortable access to health care — 30 per cent compared to 15 per cent respectively.

Those polled were asked about their confidence in being able to access urgent care in a timely fashion — 37 per cent of Canadians said they were confident, while 61 per cent said they were not. In the United States, 70 per cent reported feeling confident, while one-quarter said they were not.

Angus Reid Institute researchers created a Health Care Access Index breaking down those finding comfortable access, those with no problem accessing care and those experiencing varying degrees of difficulty.

The Angus Reid Institute is a national, not-for-profit, public opinion research foundation. The pollster conducted two online surveys in August 2022.

In Canada, the survey was conducted among a randomized sample of 2,279 Canadian adults, members of the Angus Reid Forum, from Aug. 8-10. The margin error is plus or minus 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

In the United States a randomized sample of 1,209 American adults, also members of the Angus Reid Forum USA, were polled Aug. 16-17, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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