Poll shows support for seniors health-care strategy

Recent public opinion poll results overwhelmingly in support of a national strategy for seniors health care should serve as a reminder that Canadians still support a public approach to health care, says the local Friends of Medicare chairperson.

Recent public opinion poll results overwhelmingly in support of a national strategy for seniors health care should serve as a reminder that Canadians still support a public approach to health care, says the local Friends of Medicare chairperson.

It doesn’t matter that the federal government sees things differently, said Brenda Corney, with the Friends of Medicare Red Deer chapter, on Tuesday.

“We know very well Stephen Harper is saying it’s a provincial responsibility so there is going to be no co-ordination from this federal government of anything to do with medicare,” Corney said.

On Tuesday, the Canadian Medical Association released a poll that found 89 per cent of those surveyed believed a national approach to seniors care should involve federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels of government.

The Ipsos Reid poll showed 93 per cent want a national strategy that includes an emphasis on keeping seniors in their homes as long as possible.

“We are going to have a problem. People cannot afford $3,000 to $5,000 a month for long-term care or assisted living. The vast majority of people just don’t have that kind of money,” said Corney about the cost of some privatized seniors care in Alberta.

Privatization of home care is a growing concern too, she said.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people running businesses for profit. The problem is running health-care businesses for profit. When the businesses take care of it, out of every dollar they have to take so much profit instead of putting every penny in the same pot and caring for people.

“I think there is tremendous cost savings we could make if we had a national strategy and could put that money into caring for people.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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