Public has no appetite for health care privatization — B.C. poll

News release

Fifty-six per cent say private role should remain the same or decrease

The B.C. Liberals may be contemplating a larger role for the private sector in delivering health care services, but there’s no public appetite for greater privatization according to a poll released today by the Hospital Employees’ Union.

More than 56 per cent of those polled say that the role of private businesses in health care should remain the same or decrease. Only 34 per cent felt private businesses should have a greater role in health care.

“The public knows we need to strengthen public health care,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “But the public is not persuaded that greater privatization is part of the solution to improved health care delivery.”

The question was conducted as part of a broader McIntyre & Mustel omnibus telephone survey of 504 adult British Columbians Oct. 11-17. The results are considered accurate to within 4.4 per cent, 95 per cent of the time.

The question: Some health services are provided by private businesses which receive some or all of their funding from the B.C. government. These businesses are run to make a profit. In general, do you believe there should be a larger role for private businesses in health services, a smaller role or no change?

Total interviews: 504

Larger role 34.4% -174

Smaller role 25.7% - 130

No change 30.4% - 153

Don’t know/refused 9.4 %- 47