More than half of Ontarians agree health-care funding should have strings attached, survey finds

More than half of Ontarians believe the federal government should attach conditions to their updated health-care funding deal, a new survey suggests.

Canada’s premiers are meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week to advocate for an increase to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), which is currently set at about $45.2 billion for this year.

The provinces have long called for the amount to go from 22 per cent to about 35 per cent, adding about $28 billion to their coiffeurs. While the federal government has hinted at an increase, it is unclear if it will meet the full amount of the request.

Officials have also hinted that certain strings will be attached to the increase, including a commitment to data sharing, reducing surgery backlogs and investing in mental health.

According to a poll conducted by Angus Reid, about 44 per cent of Canadians believe the funding should be unconditional, with 41 per cent in favour of a deal with strings attached.

Ontario respondents, however, strongly agreed with federal demands for reforms being attached to health-care funding. About 54 per cent of respondents said the government should tack on conditions, even if it delays the agreement.

No other province felt this strongly about the federal government’s contingencies.

A chart shows the results of an Angus Reid poll released on Feb. 6, 2023.

The Ontario government has previously said it would support a push to make health-care funding contingent on data reporting.

The province has also begun to put forward a plan that would see surgery backlogs reduced by increasing the number of procedures that can be done at private clinics.

The plan faced immediate backlash, but according to the survey, about 48 per cent of respondents support the efforts.

Canada-wide, about three in five respondents in every region supports the idea of having doctors at third party clinics perform services such as cataract, hip and knee surgeries, and MRIs.

The online Angus Reid poll, conducted between Feb. 1 and Feb. 3, surveyed 1,726 adults across Canada and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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