Health care a priority, survey shows

TheGlobeandMail.com – News/National
Published Friday, Dec. 03, 2010.   Bill Curry

Canadians are overwhelmingly supportive of the view that health care should be a strong priority for the Harper government, according to a new survey conducted exclusively for The Globe and Mail.

The survey of 1,002 Canadians by Nanos Research asked respondents to rate a list of issues in terms of how much of a priority they should be for the government of Canada.

On a scale of one to 10, health care came in at 8.39. That strong view was consistent across all age groups and all regions of the country.

That places health care ahead of controlling the cost of government (7.92); fighting poverty (7.73); helping seniors (7.72); having tougher sentences for criminals (6.91) or Senate reform (5.33).

On the political front, health care has been a dormant issue thanks to long-term arrangements that see federal health transfers to the provinces increase by a generous 6 per cent a year. But that deal expires in 2013-14, and negotiations are already under way toward a successor arrangement.

The survey has a margin of accuracy of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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