Campbell Liberals lack credibility on seniors’ care — poll

News release

And seven out of ten say Victoria is moving too far and too fast on health care changes

Almost three-quarters of those with an opinion —73 per cent — don’t think that the provincial government has a workable plan for improving seniors’ care, according to a new McIntyre & Mustel poll commissioned by the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE).

The province-wide telephone survey of 506 British Columbians was conducted June 6 — 12, 2002, more than a month after Victoria and its health authorities announced health redesign plans that included plans to close long-term care facilities and move more seniors into “assisted living” and “supportive housing.”

Only 27 per cent agree that the Campbell Liberals have a workable plan for seniors’ care.

“With elderly couples being threatened with separation and care facilities closing, it’s little wonder that this government has a credibility problem when it comes to looking out for our seniors,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

There’s a high degree of skepticism that the health care changes proposed by the provincial government will be beneficial. Only one in four of those with an opinion think the impact of the Campbell Liberals’ health reforms will be positive while 67 per cent believe that the impact of these changes will be negative

And an even higher percentage of those surveyed — 70 per cent of those with an opinion — think the province is moving too far, too fast with health care changes. Only 30 per cent agreed that government is doing what is necessary to fix health care.

“These results should give Premier Campbell good reason to reconsider his government’s health reform schemes,” says Allnutt. “I encourage the premier to consult openly with the public, patients, seniors and front-line health care workers in order to find better ideas to improve public health care.”

The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The questions: Thinking about health care services for seniors, do you agree of disagree that the B.C. Liberal government has a workable plan to provide better health care services for B.C. seniors?

Decided (per cent) Overall (per cent) Total agree 26.5 Total agree 20.2 Strongly agree 10.9 Strongly agree 8.4 Somewhat agree 15.6 Somewhat agree 11.8 Total disagree 73.4 Total disagree 55.8 Strongly disagree 53.6 Strongly disagree 40.8 Somewhat disagree 19.8 Somewhat disagree 15.0 Don't know 24.0 Based on what you know about the changes the provincial government is making to B.C.’s health care system, do you think that the changes will have a negative impact, a positive impact, or no real impact on patient care?

Decided (per cent) Overall (per cent) Negative impact 66.7 Negative impact 63.5 Positive impact 24.5 Positive impact 23.3 No real impact 8.7 No real impact 8.3 Don't know 4.9 Some people say the provincial government is moving too far, too fast with its health care changes. Others say the government is doing what is necessary to fix health care. Which is closest to your view?

Decided (per cent) Overall (per cent) Too far, too fast 70.2 Too far, too fast 67.3 Doing what's necessary 29.8 Doing what's necessary 28.4 Don't know 4.3 -30- For full tables or more information, contact Mike Old, communications officer, at 604-828-6771 (cell) or 604-456-7039 (direct).