August 22, 2018 — Results of the 13th edition of the Health Care in Canada (HCIC) survey were announced today in Ottawa. Established in 1998, the HCIC Survey is Canada’s longest-running, most in-depth survey of the public, general/family physicians, specialists, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, and health care administrators. It identifies and tracks perceived strengths, areas of concern, key current issues, and opportunities for improvement in health care quality, accessibility and affordability.

The 2018 edition is the 13th wave of the study, with additional regular waves of research scheduled in the years ahead. This edition of Canada’s report card on the health care system looked at a variety of issues including opinions about chronic disease prescription usage, timeliness of access to health care, challenges faced by non-professional caregivers, and options for end-of-life care and the opioid crisis. Among the highlights of this year’s survey:

  • Wait times are the top concern. Some 43% of the public and 31-41% of health professionals identified wait times as the most important health care issue in Canada. According to respondents, timely access to the health care system has decreased over the last 5 years and only health care administrators think timely access will improve in the next 5 years.
  • Team-based health care is considered the best way to increase access to health professionals. While 80% of the public support encouraging health professionals to work in teams with other types of health care providers, the level of support varies amongst health care providers (62-72%) and stands at only 38% for administrators.
  • Six-in-ten Canadians diagnosed with a chronic disease don’t take their medicines as prescribed. The top reported reasons for non-adherence were forgetfulness and taking medication based upon how the individual feels.

Since its inception in 1998, the HCIC survey has been conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, supported by the HCIC survey partners, with principal funding from Merck Canada. The HCIC survey partners and sponsors are a broad group of national, multi-institutional health care stakeholders including many of the country’s top professional associations, not-for-profit health organizations, and institutions: the Canadian Cancer Society; Canadian Home Care Association; Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association; Canadian Medical Association; Canadian Nurses Association; Canadian Pharmacists Association; Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation; McGill University; Health Charities Coalition of Canada; HealthCareCAN; Innovative Medicines Canada; Institute of Health Economics; Studer Group Canada; Merck Canada; Strive Health Management; and, CareNet Health Management Consulting.

The 2018 survey results can be found at the HCIC website, hosted by McGill University. This site acts as the public repository for all data, findings, reporting, and publications arising from the current and past editions of the HCIC Survey. However, you can visit the Latest Insights webpage of to view forthcoming publications and webinar presentations on the 2018 results. Sign-up for our newsletter to receive updates.