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Quebec favours two-tier healthcare

I must have blinked and missed a drastic political shift in Quebec: it seems our province has the “distinction” of favouring two-tier healthcare:

A poll conducted last month by Environics and CROP for the Centre for Research and Information on Canada shows support in Quebec for a two-tiered health care system has been steadily rising over the past three years. While only 38 per cent of Quebecers supported the concept in 2001, that figure rose to 49 per cent in 2002 and 53 per cent this year.

However, the picture in Quebec is distinctly different than in the rest of the country. The poll found 52 per cent of Canadians think governments should increase health care spending rather than allow private companies to deliver health care services to those who can afford it. Only 37 per cent favoured allowing the private sector to deliver services while 9 per cent would limit the availability of some treatments and medications.

The Gazette article is sensationalizing somewhat. People said they favoured the private system providing some services to supplement the public one. They weren’t asked outright if the rich should have better healthcare than the poor; I am sure that the results would have been drastically different if the question had been phrased that way.

But since when did Quebec ever position itself to the right of the other Canadian provinces on any issue before?

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Me 10.31.03, 5:12 PM


    Since you’re so into polls, I wondered if you’d comment on this one:

    “Over half of Europeans think that Israel now presents the biggest threat to world peace according to a controversial poll requested by the European Commission.”

    “The European Commission is coming under fire for publishing the results of a number of questions – relating to Iraqi reconstruction – while failing to publish the results which revealed the extent of mistrust of Israel and the United States in Europe.”

    “Israeli officials dismissed the results of the poll as propaganda.

    According to El Pais, a massive 59 percent of Europeans said they believed that Israel is the biggest obstacle to world peace.

    The poll, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres/ EOS Gallup Europe, was conducted between 8 and 16 of October.”


  • Erk 10.31.03, 9:24 PM

    “Me”, there’s a non-sequitur if I ever saw one. It’s not like there aren’t somewhat more related articles to tack that onto.

    But what the Gazette’s reporter, Elizabeth Thompson, is up to in that article would make a legitimate, or even vaguely interested social scientist blush. Assuming the same questions were asked of Quebecers and Canadians (we’re not _that_ distinct, are we?), why compare sentiment for subcontracting in one sample with sentiment for reinvestment in another? Supposing I’m for putting out a call for medically-reviewed tenders on five years of a certain number of CAT scans per year… but I’m also in favour of reinvestment in training of doctors and nurses and an increase in support staff in hospitals? The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Savings and privatization don’t always go hand in hand either. Just ask Ontarions or Californians about deregulated private provision of electricity.

    That being said, her reporting of support for private provision of health care services over time was a little more useful… but what it means? Maybe that Quebecers have tired of seeing their health-care dollars spent on contesting jurisdiction with Ottawa and golden thrones for former PQ health ministers, and the suspicion hasn’t worn off yet?

    I’d tend to think of it as ennui, fatigue and realism rather than right-wing.

  • Daniel 11.07.03, 2:50 AM


    If you actually read the survey questions you would realize that the conclusions reached by the media are quite far fetched. Basically, in a certain list of countries they asked for each (quote from memory) “Do you believe is a threat to world peace?” and 59% voted yes for Israel, a similarly high number for the US ect. Of course as many have pointed out, these results show more about the incredible bias in the european media against Israel, and its propaganda-like effect then anything else

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