Over one-third of
Canadians have gone, or have had a family member go, without needed
health care because of insufficient insurance coverage, according
to a poll.

The Ipsos Reid poll,
carried out on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association, the
Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) and the
Institute for Health Economics, found that 36% of respondents have
gone without health care because of insufficient

It added that 34% of
respondents have a family member who also has gone without health
care, due to insufficient insurance coverage.

The gap in care is
highest among those in Atlantic Canada, those on low incomes,
women, and self-employed, part time or unemployed individuals, said
the poll.

Maureen O’Neil, CEO of
the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, said: “With close
to one-fifth of Canadians – that’s six million people – lacking
supplementary health care coverage, this is clearly a gap that
needs to be addressed. When people can’t afford the health care
they need, there are economic costs both through reduced
productivity and greater health care expenditures down the


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A related survey found
that three quarters of employers were concerned that the government
would reduce coverage of insured health services, but were split
over the issue of a supplementary health programme funded by