Long Waiting Times is Biggest Health Care Concern for British Columbians

Metro Vancouverites support ride-hailing services, and few parents of K-12 children have confidence in the provincial government to handle education.

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.

Health Care

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32% of British Columbians are worried about “bureaucracy and poor management”, 27% about “inadequate resources and out-of-date facilities” and 15% about “dirty hospitals and insufficient hygiene standards.”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

Transportation

Across Metro Vancouver, more than half of residents (54%) support tolling new bridges as a way to help fund transit projects in the area. This is the only option that is supported by a majority of Metro Vancouverites.

About a third of Metro Vancouverites favour two other ideas: tolling existing bridges (35%) and increasing the carbon tax (33%). Slightly fewer (31%) support implementing a levy based on the distance travelled by a vehicle in the past year.

As expected, there is a clear division between drivers and public transit users on two contentious proposals. While 31% are in favour of increasing transit fares, drivers are more supportive of the idea (39%) than transit users (26%). Conversely, 30% of Metro Vancouverites would back increasing fuel taxes, but only 21% of drivers agree with this course of action.

The least popular funding options tested are tolling roads (29%), implementing a levy for each vehicle owned, regardless of mileage (26%) and increasing property taxes (25%). Animosity towards higher property taxes has remained high since a similar Insights West poll conducted in January 2016.

“It is important to note that Metro Vancouverites aged 55 and over are more likely to be open to paying for specific things than their younger counterparts,” adds Canseco. “Almost half of Metro Vancouver’s Baby Boomers think tolling existing bridges is a good idea, compared to just one-in-four Millennials.”

Almost seven-in-ten Metro Vancouverites (69%) support the proposal to allow ride-hailing services in the province, while 21% are opposed to this course of action. Support for ride-hailing in British Columbia is highest among men (76%) and residents aged 18-to-34 (76%).

Education

Parents who have a child enrolled in a K-12 public school have the highest level of satisfaction with “class composition” (52%), while 44% are satisfied with “class size” and 38% are satisfied with the current “specialist-teacher ratio”.

Across the province, only three-in-ten parents (29%) say they have more confidence in the provincial government to make the best decisions related to education, while 57% say they have more confidence in the school trustees in their area.

The school trustees get a particularly high rating in Vancouver Island (72%). The proportion is lower in the Okanagan and Northern BC (63%) and the Lower Mainland (51%).

In addition, three-in-ten parents (29%) say their family has been personally impacted by school closures, a proportion that rises to 44% in the Okanagan and Northern BC.

In an Insights West poll conducted in November 2016, 27% of British Columbians believed the provincial government was doing a good job handling education.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

The information included in this release is based on three separate online studies:

Health Care: Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from April 10 to April 13, 2017, among 809 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations.

Transportation: Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from April 10 to April 13, 2017, among 502 adult British Columbians who reside in Metro Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.4 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations.

Education: Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from April 10 to April 13, 2017, among 403 adult British Columbians who have a child enrolled in a K-12 public school in the province. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.9 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com