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Assessment Of Health Care Reaches Record Lows: Survey

By Brad Perry Oct 4, 2022 | 12:51 PM

A record number of Atlantic Canadians are not happy with the quality of health care.

That is according to the results of a new survey by Narrative Research released Tuesday.

When asked to rate the overall quality of health care currently available, 85 per cent considered it to be fair or poor.

“Negative perceptions (ratings of fair or poor) are prevalent across all four Atlantic Canadian provinces, and have notably increased in all four provinces over the past two years,” said the report.

When broken down by province, health care quality was rated as fair or poor by 90 per cent of respondents in Newfoundland and Labrador, up from 52 per cent two years earlier.

The number stood at 85 per cent in New Brunswick (up from 50 per cent), 83 per cent in Prince Edward Island (up from 39 per cent) and 83 per cent in Nova Scotia (up from 60 per cent).

Narrative Research noted a discrepancy between overall perceptions of health care and the actual quality of health care services received in the past 12 months.

“Personal satisfaction among Atlantic Canadians regarding health care services they have received over the past year is notably more positive than the overall assessment of health care in general, but nonetheless, at lowest recorded levels,” said the survey.

Just over half of Atlantic Canadians are now satisfied with the care they have received in the past 12 months, while four in ten express some level of dissatisfaction.

P.E.I. residents are the most satisfied with the health care service they have received at 62 per cent, followed by Nova Scotia at 56 per cent, New Brunswick at 53 per cent, and Newfoundland and Labrador at 49 per cent.

Challenges related to access were the top reasons why people were dissatisfied, according to the survey.

Difficulty getting appointments with a family doctor/primary care provider came in first, followed by delayed appointments/long wait for appointments with specialists.

“Atlantic Canadians are far less critical of the actual care they receive once they get it,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO and partner of Narrative Research.

“But with health care staff shortages throughout the region, accessing care is clearly problematic – whether it be access to primary care, tests, or emergency care. Access is unmistakably the root of the problem.”

The results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly and are based on a sample of 1,500 adult Atlantic Canadians, conducted from August 3-31, 2022, with overall results accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.


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