Politicians who campaign on health and medical research this fall will get more traction from voters

New national poll views health and medical research as having greater impact over the past decade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA, April 16, 2019 – Canadians are increasingly convinced that Canada should be a global leader in health and medical research, according to an important new survey on health research and health innovation released today by six leading national health organizations. A majority of Canadians say they are still willing to pay out of pocket to support health and medical research and to pay more taxes for Canadian-made health science innovations and technologies.

The survey, CanadaSpeaks! 2019 updates the results from landmark surveys in 2006, 2009 and 2015.

“With an election this fall, politicians should be aware that Canadians are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increased funding for health and medical research,” says Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair of Research Canada and Vice President of Research for Vancouver Coastal Health and Executive Director of VCH Research Institute. “Further, there continues to be a strong view among Canadians that health and medical research should be funded directly by the federal government including the education and training of health and medical researchers.”

“The study tells us Canadians are supportive of increased funding for health and medical research,” says Dr. Marla Shapiro, Full Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto and Media Advisor to Research Canada’s Board. “I believe that is because they increasingly know that health and medical research makes an important contribution to both the healthcare system and the economy.”

Survey highlights

  • An overwhelming majority of Canadians (86%) are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increased funding for health and medical research, a rate of support consistent with four years ago (84%).
  • Canadians are increasingly convinced that Canada and their province should be global leaders in health and medical research (91% of Canadians say Canada should be a global leader in health research while 86% say that their province should be a national leader).
  • 91% of Canadians say that health and medical research makes an important contribution to the healthcare system while 81% of Canadians say that health and medical research makes an important contribution to the economy.
  • 9 out of 10 Canadians agree that basic research is necessary and should be supported by the federal government.
  • 6 out of 10 of Canadians are willing to pay out of pocket for new health and medical research projects and would be willing to pay $1 more a week in taxes if they knew the revenues would pay for government investment in Canadian-made health science innovations and technologies.

The research was conducted by Maru/Blue between March 1st and 3rd, 2019, and was an online survey of 1,511 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists. The survey has a margin of error of of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The six leading health organizations which commissioned the research: Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the Health Charities Coalition of Canada, HealthCareCAN, Innovative Medicines Canada, MEDEC – Canada’s Medical Technology Companies and Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery.

The full results of the CanadaSpeaks! 2019 survey can be found at: https://rc-rc.ca/canadaspeaks-2019-final-report/

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For inquiries:

Christie Tomkins
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs
Research Canada
613-234-5129
ctomkins@rc-rc.ca