If you live in Saskatchewan, chances are you’re pretty satisfied with health care. In Newfoundland — not so much.
And in Ontario, you’re happy with family doctors, but much like the other provinces, you feel emergency services could use some work.
A new poll exclusive to the Star shows wide-ranging satisfaction with health care across the provinces, with Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick scoring highest, and Nova Scotia and Newfoundland falling behind.
In Saskatchewan, 26 per cent of respondents were “very satisfied” with health care, and in Manitoba and New Brunswick it was 25 per cent.
In Newfoundland, only 10 per cent were very satisfied, followed by 13 per cent in Nova Scotia.
“Saskatchewan, which is sort of the birth place of medicare, has the highest satisfaction ratings with health care,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, which conducted the poll.
“Then it varies considerably across the country.”
Bozinoff attributed the low overall score in Newfoundland to a shortage of specialists, such as cardiologists and pediatricians, and poor ratings for laboratories, possibly due to lack of access.
“That’s probably driving the dissatisfaction, the low satisfaction numbers, in Newfoundland overall,” he said.
A total of 75 per cent of respondents in Manitoba, 72 per cent in New Brunswick and 71 per cent in Saskatchewan were either very satisfied or satisfied with health care. In Ontario it was 66 per cent.
The survey found Ontario is above average for satisfaction with family doctors, specialists, diagnostic labs and hospitals, but fell behind the average on pharmacists and dentists.
The most highly rated health-care service in the survey was pharmacists, with an average of 63 per cent of respondents saying they were “very satisfied.” In Quebec, it’s 71 per cent, but in Ontario it’s 58 per cent.
The lowest satisfaction ratings went to walk-in clinics and emergency room services, which scored a national average of 21 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.
Emergency services were the poorest received across the country. In Ontario 17 per cent of respondents were very satisfied with the emergency room, while Saskatchewan was the only province to top one-fifth of respondents. Newfoundland, Quebec and Manitoba ranked lowest at 9 per cent.
Hospitals scored highest in Prince Edward Island at 31 per cent, followed by Ontario and Saskatchewan with 26 per cent each. Newfoundland was last at 8 per cent.
Satisfaction with walk-in clinics was also highest in P.E.I. at 28 per cent, followed by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at 24 per cent.
Family doctors were best received in Ontario and Saskatchewan, with 40 per cent of respondents very satisfied. The lowest scores go to P.E.I. at 29 per cent, and Newfoundland and Alberta at 32 per cent each.
In general, the survey found Canadians over 65 were more satisfied with hospital services, walk-in clinics, family doctors, pharmacy services, dentists and emergency services.
The poll results are based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of 3,932 randomly selected residents aged 18 or older across Canada. It was conducted on May 30-31st, 2012.
Results based on the total sample are considered accurate, plus or minus 1.56 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.