Access to health care for people 55+ better in B.C. than other provinces: poll

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – British Columbia’s health care system seems to treat people over the age of 55 better than health care systems in other provinces.

According to a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute, people 55 and older in BC and Ontario have a better time accessing health care than those in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

“BC is one of the two provinces where the fewest number of people say that they are having major access issues compared to Atlantic Canada, which reports the most people saying this,” says Shachi Kurl, Executive Director of the Angus Reid Institute.

“In Atlantic Canadian provinces, more than 1-in-3 people over the age of 55 say that they are having major access issues and by contrast that number is 18 per cent in British Columbia.”

Canada-wide, 1-in-5 people over the age of 55 say access to health care is a significant issue for them, with difficulty finding a family doctor or waiting long times for surgery, diagnostic tests, or specialist visits, topping the list.

The poll also suggests that while the province’s health care system seems to treat people over the age of 55 well, it’s still the target of complaints. 30 per cent believe the overall quality of health care in the province has deteriorated over the last 10 to 15 years even though 95 per cent describe the overall quality of their personal experiences within the health care system over the last 5 years as “good” or “very good.”

“When we ask people whether they think that access issues have improved in the last 10 to 15 years, only 1-in-5 British Columbians say so,” says Kurl.

Only 5 per cent of British Columbians over the age of 55 describe the overall quality of their personal experienced within the health care system as “poor” or “very poor.”

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