70% want bigger investment in seniors care
December 5, 2018
OTTAWA – A new Abacus Data survey has found that 7 out of 10 Canadians want the federal government to invest in the healthcare of the country’s aging population, and that Ottawa should make this a high priority. The survey was released by Organizations for Health Action (HEAL), and the results were based on a poll of 1,650 adults from across Canada.
Survey respondents ranked seniors’ care and mental health as their top priorities, ranking them as more urgent than the rising cost of housing, public debt and deficits, climate change, rising global extremism, or economic and employment disruption.
According to Statistics Canada, more than 15% of the Canadian population was over the age of 65 at the time of the last census. By 2036, this age group is expected to make up more than 25% of the population.
The number of Canadians aged 85 and over is expected to triple over the next 20 years from 700,000 to 2.1 million.
“Since healthcare costs increase with age, the demands of this demographic shift on the Canadian healthcare system will compound,” said François Couillard (pictured), HEAL Co-Chair. “Canada therefore requires a more robust approach to home care and community health services for older adults and those living with a dementia.”
“HEAL looks forward to working with the federal government to advance this key social and economic issue,” said Couillard.
The Abacus survey also revealed:
- 86% want the federal and provincial governments to work closely together to prepare the healthcare system for Canada’s aging population.
- 82% said they support the development of a pan-Canadian caregiver strategy to better help those caring for loved ones who require medical attention.
- 81% said they support the federal government expanding community and home-based health and active aging programs across the country.
“These survey results reinforce what our 40-member organizations are hearing on the front-lines of healthcare,” said HEAL Co-Chair Ondina Love. “Canadians understand that there is an immediate need to increase investments to our healthcare system so that we can effectively deal with Canada’s aging population – and they want to see it addressed as a priority by the federal government.
“As we are less than a year away from a federal election, parties should take note that this is sure to be a top election issue,” said Love.
HEAL’s Abacus survey findings were the first phase of results. More survey findings will be released in the coming months by HEAL.
In 2016, HEAL published its first consensus statement, The Canadian Way – Accelerating Innovation and Improving Health System Performance, following more than two years of research, review, and reflection.
HEAL’s The Canadian Way 2.0 statement moves the conversation forward, adding additional recommendations on the two areas of priority identified by its members in 2018: Seniors’ care (across the healthcare system continuum, including home care), and mental health services.
HEAL, Organizations for Health Action, is a coalition of 40 national health organizations dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and the quality of care they receive. Our members are professional associations of regulated healthcare providers and organizations of health charities that provide a range of healthcare services across Canada. HEAL now represents more than 650,000 providers (and consumers) of healthcare, in over 20 different healthcare professions.