IBM Canada Ltd.

IBM Canada Ltd.

December 07, 2006 09:47 ET

IBM Canada Inc.: Eighty Per Cent of Canadians Satisfied With Healthcare Wait Times

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 7, 2006) - Eighty per cent of Canadians polled said they were satisfied with the amount of time they waited for an appointment to see a family physician, or for a special medical test such as a CT scan or MRI.

The IBM Canada HealthInsider survey polled 2,500 Canadians for their opinions on healthcare wait times. The survey also found 79 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied, with their most recent wait time for a non-urgent surgical procedure. However, only 55 per cent of Canadians said they were satisfied with the length of their latest emergency room wait.

Only 27 per cent of Canadians said they felt wait times are longer than five years ago, down from 42 per cent in 2004.

"It appears the Canadian public has started to rebuild its trust in this country's health care system, and the recent initiatives put in place by provincial governments are starting to have positive effects," said Neil Stuart, a partner in IBM Global Business Services' healthcare practice. "However this change in opinion does not indicate the problems have been fixed. All levels of government must continue to work to make Canada's healthcare system more sustainable."

The survey also found the vast majority of Canadians believe wait lists should not be managed on a first-come, first-served basis. Ninety-four per cent of survey respondents believe wait lists should be managed according to need and severity.

If wait times for health services were considered unacceptably long, 92 per cent of Canadians said they would be willing to receive care at another facility in their province. Eighty-three per cent said they would go outside their province if the government would cover the cost.

Regional Findings:

1 - Percentage of residents willing to get healthcare from a facility in
a different province, if local wait times were too long:

British Colombia: 89%
Alberta: 83%
Saskatchewan: 93%
Manitoba: 89%
Ontario: 78%
Quebec: 84%
Atlantic: 90%

2 - Percentage of residents who have considered getting healthcare outside
of Canada:

British Colombia: 19%
Alberta: 11%
Saskatchewan: 15%
Manitoba: 17%
Ontario: 16%
Quebec: 7%
Atlantic: 10%

3 - Percentage of residents who reported waiting more than two months for
a special medical test such as a CT scan or MRI:

British Colombia: 15%
Alberta: 13%
Saskatchewan: 18%
Manitoba: 42%
Ontario: 8%
Quebec: 19%
Atlantic: 23%

4 - Percentage of residents who waited more than two hours to be seen after
arriving in the emergency room, by community size:

population less than 5,000: 21%
population 5,000-1,000,000: 32%
population +1,000,000: 42%

About HealthInsider

HealthInsider is one of the most comprehensive consumer reports currently available to the Canadian healthcare industry, providing subscribers in-depth data and analysis on consumer attitudes toward health policies, programs, products and services. HealthInsider surveys 2,500 Canadians, with a national margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points in 19 samples out of 20 and a regional margin of error of plus or minus 5 per cent.

For more information, visit

Contact Information