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Canadians want health care leadership from politicians, poll shows

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canadians are looking for leadership from the federal government to build our national health care system, rather than tear it down, a new poll from Abacus Data, commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, shows.

The poll, which was released today by the CFNU during its biennial convention in Halifax, shows that as Canada's population ages, the future of health care is increasing in importance to voters, with 58% of voting-age respondents now placing health care among their top three issues.

"The survey shows that there are many more Canadians concerned about the future of health care than those concerned about an increase in taxes," observed CFNU President Linda Silas.

The survey revealed:

  • Health care is more important to voters than taxes – 58% of respondents said health care was among the top three issues that could determine how they vote, compared with 44% who included taxes;
  • Overwhelming numbers of Canadians trust nurses to know what patients need most;
  • 77% of respondents would consider supporting a party that would set national standards for continuing care;
  • Close to two thirds of respondents would support a political party committed to negotiating a new health agreement between Ottawa and the provinces and committed to annual funding increases.

"Canadians want to see federal leadership that builds, rather than limits, our health care system," said CFNU president Linda Silas. "We are challenging federal leaders to step up and demonstrate their commitment to public funding and distribution of the health care services Canadians depend upon.

"Canadians see a health care system starved of resources each day," Silas said. "They want action to protect and secure the health of all Canadians. In particular, expanding affordable care for our oldest citizens must be an urgent priority, not something we put off for years."

"There is no public service that matters more to people than health care services," said pollster Bruce Anderson, chair of Abacus Data, which conducted the survey of 1,500 Canadians between May 4 and May 6, 2015. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.6%.

The CFNU plans to register as a third-party advertiser for the 2015 election.

For more information, contact Christie Blotnicky of Nova Scotia Nurses Union, 902-818-4453, or by email at christie.blotnicky@nsnu.ca

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses. Our members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health care and our homes.

CONTACT: Christie Blotnicky, Nova Scotia Nurses Union, 902-818-4453, christie.blotnicky@nsnu.ca

Source:Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions