Long Waiting Times is Biggest Health Care Concern for British Columbians

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Vancouver, BC – Research conducted by Insights West for CTV Vancouver analyzed the views of British Columbians on the health care system, the opinions of Metro Vancouver residents on issues related to transportation, and the way parents who have a child enrolled in a K-12 public school feel about the state of affairs in education.

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The survey asked British Columbians to point out specific concerns they may have about the health care system. Three-in-four residents (75%) include “long waiting times for procedures and tests” as one of their key concerns. The second ranked concern across the province is a “shortage of doctors and nurses” at 66% (+9 points since a similar Insights West poll conducted in January 2014).

“Two thirds of British Columbians are concerned about a perceived lack of medical professionals in their communities,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “While Metro Vancouverites are worried about this, the proportion is significantly higher in Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and Northern BC.”

More than half of British Columbians (57%) also include “long waiting times in emergency rooms” as one of their concerns, including 59% of those aged 35-to-54.

Three other concerns are less prevalent: 32% of British Columbians are worried about “bureaucracy and poor management”, 27% about “inadequate resources and out-of-date facilities” and 15% about “dirty hospitals and insufficient hygiene standards.”

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When asked about their personal interaction with the health care system in the province, more than three-in-five British Columbians (63%) say they have waited more than one hour during an emergency room visit, including 70% of those aged 35-to-54 and 70% of those who live in Vancouver Island.

More than two-in-five (43%) say they waited more than six months for a procedure or test, including 49% of those aged 55 and over and 48% of those who live in the Okanagan and Northern BC.

Three-in-ten residents (30%) had a bad experience with a doctor, 17% had a bad experience with a nurse, and 15% had a bad reaction to a prescription from a doctor. Across British Columbia, 5% of residents say they developed a health issue while staying at a hospital.

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