A National Public Opinion Poll
On Health and Medical Research
National Poll Results | Press Release | Provincial Polls (Saskatchewan & British Columbia)
Key Findings from the CanadaSpeaks! 2015 Poll
- Leadership and Priorities
- Public and Private Health Information
- Public Engagement and Awareness of Health Research
- Provincial Messages
- About the Survey
- Canadians are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increased funding for health care and health and medical research.
- Health and medical research is a priority for Canadians. A very strong majority (90%) say it makes an important contribution to health care while a strong majority (77%) say it makes an important contribution to the economy. Ninety-two percent of Canadians say basic research should be supported by the federal government — an increase from results in 2006 and 2009.
- A very strong majority of Canadians think it is important for both federal and provincial governments to invest in the education and training of health and medical researchers.
- Four out of five Canadians agree that the federal government should support tax and regulatory policies that encourage private industries to conduct more medial research. Agreement is on par with results from 2009.
- A majority of Canadians (68%) are willing to pay $1/week more in taxes if they know the revenue supports government investment in Canadian health innovation, on par with results in 2009.
- A majority of Canadians (63%) say the government should allocate between 1 and 24 cents on the healthcare dollar towards health and medical research, slightly down from 2009 and 2006.
- Canadians prefer the internet to learn about advances in health research. Overall, health reports in the media had a widespread impact in the last five years. At least one behavioural change was made by eight-in-ten Canadians because of a health report. A majority of Canadians have made a change to their consumption and almost half of Canadians have changed their physical activity due to a health report in the media.
- Health and Medical Researchers are highly trusted. Almost half of Canadians rank health and medical researchers 8 or higher on a 10-point scale.
- Three quarters of Canadians say they are willing to share personal health information as long as it is kept confidential.
- While a majority of Canadians say they are interested in participating in health and medical research – including helping to determine priority topics and deciding on future areas of funding – only 24% are aware of opportunities to do so.
- Further, only one-third of Canadians are familiar with health and medical research being conducted at universities and hospitals in their province.
British Columbia and Saskatchewan poll results were aligned with national poll results. Differences of note between the provincial and national polls are captured below.
Public and Private Health Information
- More British Columbians prefer to hear about advances in health research via the Internet than Canadians overall (51% vs 43%)
Public Engagement and Awareness of Health Research
- Only 16% of British Columbians say they have heard “a lot” or “something” about patients and the public participating in health research, including helping to determine priority topics and deciding on future areas of funding. This is less than Canadians overall (27%). Fifty percent of British Columbians say they have heard nothing at all about this opportunity (compared to 36% of Canadians overall).
- Regarding current public participation opportunities in health care, only 15% of British Columbians are aware of them, compared to 24% nationally.
Private and Public Health Information
- Saskatchewan residents trust Health and Medical Researchers. Almost four in ten (38%) rank Health and Medical Researchers as an 8 or higher on a 10-point scale. The majority (60%) rank them in the middle.
Public Engagement and Awareness of Health Research
- Only 16% of Saskatchewan residents say they have seen, read or heard “a lot” or “something” about participating in health and medical research. Overall, Canadians tend to be more aware about patients and the public being able to participate in health and medical research (27%).
- Although the majority (68%) of Saskatchewan residents are interested in participating in health and medical research, only 1 in 10 Saskatchewan residents are aware of current opportunities to do so. Awareness of current opportunities is slightly higher (24%) among Canadians.
CanadaSpeaks! 2015, led by Research Canada, is a partnership of five national and two provincial organizations. It is the fifth in a series of similar polls conducted by Research Canada and its partners since 2006.
The 2015 online survey of more than 1,000 Canadians was conducted by Vision Critical. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Specific regional and age subgroup data, where there is a significant variation of interest, were selected and reported by Vision Critical and included in the national poll document to provide more comparative data.