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					Embargoed to Monday, August 21, 2006 at 12:01 AM (EDT)




 2006 National Report Card

     General Population




     FINAL SUMMARY REPORT




           Submitted to:

   Canadian Medical Association

           August 2006
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                                                             Ipsos-Reid Corporation




Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ 1
METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................ 1
KEY FINDINGS ................................................................................................................. 2
         Overall Views of Canada’s Health Care System........................................................................ 2
         Kids Today .......................................................................................................................... 2
DETAILED FINDINGS ......................................................................................................... 3
    Rating Overall Quality and Recent Experience................................................................... 3
    Rating Government Performance ..................................................................................... 4
    Grades for Access to Health Care Services........................................................................ 5
    Optimism About the Future ............................................................................................. 6
    Kids Today ..................................................................................................................... 6
         Parental Perceptions of Children’s Weight............................................................................... 6
         Parental Rating of Children and Healthy Living........................................................................ 7
         Parents of Children with Special Needs................................................................................... 7
         Attitudes Toward Healthy Living Initiatives for Youth............................................................... 8
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                               Ipsos-Reid Corporation




INTRODUCTION
This is the sixth annual CMA Report Card on the health care system in Canada. Since
2001, the Canadian Medical Association has asked Ipsos-Reid each year to measure
public opinion with respect to the health of the Canadian health care system. In
particular, Ipsos-Reid has asked Canadians to assign a letter grade to the health care
system overall, and considering different aspects of the system.

In this year’s survey, parents of children under the age of eighteen and parents of
children with special needs were also asked to assess the overall health of Canadian
children and various components of healthy living and their children. In the case of
parents of children with special needs, they were asked to assess their child’s access to
mental health services.

METHODOLOGY
The 2006 annual Report Card Survey is the sixth such telephone survey conducted by
Ipsos-Reid on behalf of the CMA. This year the annual report card consisted of three
components which are detailed in the table below.
Component                        n              Field dates                   Margin of Error
                                                                            (19 times out of 20)
Report Card                    1,0071      June 20 – 25, 2006                      +3.2%
Parents of children             593         June 20 – July 9,                      +4.0%
<18 yrs                                          2006
Parents of children             129         June 20 – July 9,                       +8.6%
with special needs                               2006
In the survey, Canadians were asked to rate a range of dimensions of the health care
system using a letter grade (i.e., A, B, C or F with A being the highest grade and F
being a failing grade). This year, several additional areas were rated that were not
tested in earlier years. Further, several questions were asked which did not use the
letter grade scale.




1
    Included in the report component of 1,007 adults are 293 parents of children <18 yrs and 38 parents of
children with special needs.



                                                     -1-
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                       Ipsos-Reid Corporation




KEY FINDINGS
Overall Views of Canada’s Health Care System

•   Canadians feel slightly more positive about the health care system in a number of
    areas: overall quality, performance of Governments and expectations for
    improvement. Those who have a family physician, people who have used the health
    system and older Canadians tend to hold more positive views.
         Residents of Ontario and Quebec and higher income respondents tend to hold
         less positive views with regard to today’s services and are less optimistic about
         the future.
Kids Today
•   With regard to the health of Canadian kids it would seem that most parents see their
    own kids through rose coloured glasses.
•   While only 6% of parents give the overall health of Canadian children an "A, at least
    4 in 10 give their own children's level of physical activity and diet an "A".
         Younger parents with young families as well as those from more affluent homes
         tend to be more likely to assign the letter grade “A” to their child’s diet or level of
         physical activity. Parents from more affluent homes also are the most likely to
         assign an A letter grade for access to recreational facilities.
•   Just 9% of parents report that their child is somewhat or very overweight, in contrast
    to Statistics Canada findings which show that 26% of children under 18 are
    overweight or obese.
•   There is clear support for a kid's health agenda with a majority of parents supporting
    each of the proposed initiatives designed to improve the health, diet, and level of
    physical activity of Canadian children (the exception being only 43% support a new
    sales tax on junk food).
•   For parents of children with special needs, there is strong evidence that the mental
    health needs of their children are unmet. Fewer than one in ten (7%) assign an “A”
    letter grade to access to children’s mental health services.
•   Three out of four (74%) parents of children with special needs agree that there are
    not enough mental health services for children and youth.
•   Two out of three (66%) parents of children with special needs agree that the mental
    health needs of children and youth often go unmet because their families cannot
    afford the required services.




                                                     -2-
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                                               Ipsos-Reid Corporation




DETAILED FINDINGS
Rating Overall Quality and Recent Experience


                          Only 16% Give “Overall Quality” an “A”
                                        What mark/letter grade would you give to:
                   The overall quality of the health care services available to you and your family.

                                                    A Grade    B Grade
                                                                                                        A&B

                  2006        16%                               51%                                      67%


                  2005         18%                              45%                                      63%


                  2003               27%                                 40%                             67%


                  2002           23%                              40%                                    63%


                  2001          21%                               44%                                    65%


                                                                                     Base: All respondents n=1,007




                          One in Four Give Their “Most Recent
                          Experience” an “A”
                                      What mark/letter grade would you give to:
                      Your most recent dealing with the health care system in your community.

                                                    A Grade    B Grade

                                                                                                         A&B

                  2006               26%                                 42%                              66%




                  2005               26%                              41%                                 65%




                  2003                 33%                                     38%                        71%



                                                                                     Base: All respondents n=1,007




                                                         -3-
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                                              Ipsos-Reid Corporation



Rating Government Performance

                              Federal Government’s Performance
                              Improving?
                                         What mark/letter grade would you give to:
                       The federal government's performance in dealing with health care in Canada.


                                                 A Grade     B Grade

                                                                                                        A&B

             2006        6%                                        32%                                   38%




             2005        5%                             26%                                              31%




             2003          7%                                    28%                                     35%



                                                                                    Base: All respondents n=1,007




                              Provincial Governments’ Performance
                              Improving?
                                      What mark/letter grade would you give to:
               Your provincial government's performance in dealing with health care in your province.

                                                   A Grade       B Grade

                                                                                                        A&B

                2006          7%                                  36%                                    43%




                2005       6%                              32%                                           38%




                2003               11%                              31%                                  42%



                                                                                    Base: All respondents n=1,007




                                                           -4-
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                                                        Ipsos-Reid Corporation



Grades for Access to Health Care Services

                             No Improvement in Access to Health
                             Care Services
                                         What mark/letter grade would you give to:
                                                    “A” Letter Grade
                                                     2006    2005   2003


                                                                                         30%
                  Access to a family
                   doctor in your                                                             32%
                     community.
                                                                                                     35%


                                                                                        29%
                  Access to walk in
                   clinics in your                                               26%
                    community.
                                                                                       28%


                                                                     20%
               Access to emergency
                                                                    19%
                  room services.
                                                                           23%


                                                                                              Base: All respondents n=1,007




                             Specialized Services Receive Fewer “A”
                             Grades
                                         What mark/letter grade would you give to:
                                                    “A” Letter Grade
                                                      2006   2005   2003

                                                                                         13%
                    Access to medical
                                                                                         13%
                       specialists.
                                                                                                        16%

                 Access to health care                                                               15%
                 services on evenings
                                                                                   12%
                 and weekends in your
                      community                                                                14%

                   Access to modern                                                            14%
                 diagnostic equipment
                                                                                 11%
                 such as MRIs and CT
                        scans.                                                                 14%

             Access to a paediatrician                                                   13%




                                                                                              Base: All respondents n=1,007




                                                             -5-
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                                                   Ipsos-Reid Corporation



Optimism About the Future

                           A Small Majority are Optimistic That
                           Health Care will get Better
             Overall, do you think health care services in your community will get much better, somewhat better,
                              somewhat worse or much worse over the next two or three years?

                                 Much better   Somewhat better   Somewhat worse   Much worse




               2006   8%                    48%                           31%            9%




               2005   5%              42%                           36%                14%




               2003 4%                      57%                             29%            8%




                                                                                         Base: All respondents n=1,007




Kids Today
Parental Perceptions of Children’s Weight

•   Fully 80% say that their children are average weight.
•   Given that a recent Statistics Canada study estimated that 26% of youth between 2
    and 17 years old are overweight or obese, the findings of this study suggest that
    parents seriously underestimate their children's weight: just 9% say that their
    children are somewhat or very overweight. 2
•   An additional 10% say that their children are very or somewhat underweight,




2
 Shields M. Measured obesity: overweight Canadian children and adolescents. Statistics Canada Cat.
No. 82-620-MWE, 2005




                                                            -6-
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                                         Ipsos-Reid Corporation



Parental Rating of Children and Healthy Living


                          But the Problem is Really Other People’s
                          Kids
                                         Parents who gave “A” grades for …



                      YOUR CHILD(REN)’S LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY                  46%

                      Your home for the prevention of injury                        41%
                      Your child(ren)’s diet                                        40%
                      Access to community based recreational/sport activities       37%
                      Your child(ren)’s school for the prevention of injury         26%
                      The physical activity programs in your child(ren)’s school    21%
                      The fast food industry's efforts to provide healthy            7%
                      alternatives
                      Overall health of Canadian children                            6%




                                                                                        Base: Parents n= 593



Parents of Children with Special Needs
     Parents Of Children With Special Needs Somewhat Less Happy About Mental Health Services…
 Base: Parents of children with special needs n=129
 What mark/letter grade would you give to:
                                                                   A Grade B Grade     A/B Grade
 Access to children’s mental health services such as psychological
 testing, counselling and diagnostic services                        7%       34%         41%

                                       … And Question Their Accessibility
                                                                                                                 Strongly/
 Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following.                       Strongly      Somewhat       Somewhat
                                                                                    agree          agree          agree
                                                                                    (9,10)        (6,7,8)      (6,7,8,9,10)
 There are not enough mental health services in Canada for children
 and youth.                                                                         33%               41%         74%
 The mental health problems of children and youth are often unmet
 because their families cannot afford the required mental health
 services.                                                                          39%               27%         66%




                                                        -7-
Canadian Medical Association/2006 National Report Card                                   Ipsos-Reid Corporation



Attitudes Toward Healthy Living Initiatives for Youth
 Base: Parents n=593
 Please tell me if you support or oppose the following.
                                                                                                             Strongly/
                                                                              Strongly    Somewhat
                                                                                                            Somewhat
                                                                              support      support
                                                                                                             Support
                                                                               (9,10)      (6,7,8)
                                                                                                           (6,7,8,9,10)
                              A Majority Support Initiatives to Make Schools Healthier

 A mandatory physical activity period in all schools for all children under
                                                                               71%           21%                  92%
 the age of 18 years.
 Mandatory school curriculum for all children and youth on the benefits
                                                                               60%           27%                  87%
 of physical activity and a healthy diet
 Removing food that is high in fat, sugar and salt – such as processed
 meats, candy, chocolate and salty snacks from school vending                  57%           24%                  81%
 machines

                     A Majority Want Nutritional Information and Warning Labels on Junk Food
 Nutritional information on fast food and other food that is high in fat,
                                                                          55%       29%                           84%
 sugar and salt.
 Health warning labels, similar to the ones on cigarette packages, on
 food that is high in fat, sugar and salt – such as processed meats,      41%       31%                           72%
 candy, chocolate and salty snacks.

                       More Support for Tax Breaks for Physical Activity than Healthy Foods
 Tax breaks for people who purchase healthy foods in restaurants or
                                                                           37%       26%                          63%
 grocery stores
 Tax deductions for parents to offset the cost of having their children
                                                                           51%       29%                          80%
 participate in sports programs or other physical activity.

                             Most Support a Ban on Junk Food Advertising Aimed at Kids
 Banning all broadcast advertising aimed at children that promotes food
 that is high in fat, sugar and salt – such as processed meats, candy,   32%        29%                           61%
 chocolate and salty snacks.

                           Equal Numbers Support/Oppose a New Tax on Junk Food
 A new sales tax on food that is high in fat, sugar and salt – such as
                                                                       18%   25%                                  43%
 processed meats, candy, chocolate and salty snacks.

                          Majority Would Like to See Tax Used to Promote Healthy Living
 Using revenue from a sales tax on food that is high in fat, sugar and salt
 to increase funding for programs that promote active living and a          38%     33%                           71%
 healthy diet among children and youth.




                                                     -8-

				
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