As the election campaign steams along, people in Saskatchewan appear generally worried about the quality of long-term care for the elderly, according to a new Vote Compass report on health-care issues.

Vote Compass -- Elder care

Some people say the services provided to the elderly in long-term care homes are adequate, but most disagree with that notion.

Some 6,466 respondents have participated from March 7 to 14 in Vote Compass, which is CBC News' civic engagement application.

The online tool lets people find out where they fit in on the political landscape in relation to the Saskatchewan Party, the New Democrats, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

It also lets the public weigh in on issues that could come up during the campaign: the economy, environment, health care and others.

The latest report from Vox Pop Labs asked the public about health care and senior care.

Vote Compass -- Most support paying more for faster medical treatment

Most people support paying more for faster medical treatments, although there are strong opinions on their side of the issue, Vote Compass has learned. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

Many believe care for elderly is inadequate

When it comes to the quality of services provided to the elderly in long-term care homes, 60 per cent believe these services are in some way inadequate, while 25 per cent say they're satisfied with the current quality.

"Surprisingly, however, there does not appear to be much variation between age groups on this issue, with 62 per cent of those over 55 indicating dissatisfaction with the current services, against 60 per cent of those 35-54 and 57 per cent of those ages 18-34," said Gregory Kerr, research manager with Vox Pop Labs.

Vote Compass -- northern health care

Most people support more government resources to treat northern people in their home communities, rather than transporting them south for treatment. (Nathalie Holdway/CBC)

Unease over the quality of long-term care was present in people of all political stripes, although it was more pronounced among those on the left side of the political spectrum.

Paying extra for faster care gets some support

On a different health-care question — concerning private services — there was less agreement from party to party.
The question asked whether people should be able to pay for faster access to medical treatment.

Vote Compass -- Paying extra for faster medical care

Opinion was strongly polarized on the question of paying extra for faster medical care. People on the right side of the political spectrum tended to support the idea. People who self-identified as being on the left were opposed. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

A majority of people in Saskatchewan — 55 per cent — said they agreed with this statement, but people tended to have strong opinions on their side of the issue.

"The ideological cleavage on this issue is striking," Kerr said. "Seventy-eight per cent of those who identify as belonging to the left oppose paid access to faster treatment, while 87 per cent of those who identify as belonging to the right support it."

Vote Compass -- Health care spending in northern areas

There was support from all parties for increasing health care in northern areas, although Saskatchewan Party supporters were less likely than others to support such spending. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)


Kerr noted that the provision of private MRI services has been a contentious issue in Saskatchewan.

Many support boosting northern health care

The final health-related issue explored in today's Vote Compass report concerned northern health care.

People were asked if the government should increase access to health care in northern communities, even if it is cheaper to treat these patients in other area.

Fifty-six per cent said they agreed, 25 per cent said they disagreed and the rest were either neutral or said they didn't know.

Surgery photo

Health care is the second-biggest concern among Vote Compass users, although with NDP and Liberal supporters, it's No. 1. (Shutterstock)

Again, where people came down on the issue tends to correlate to which party they support.

Approximately 80 per cent of self-identified Green, Liberal and NDP voters support greater access, while only about half of Sask. Party supporters agree.

Saskatchewan voters go to the polls on April 4.

St. Joe's West 5th MRI

Allowing more private diagnostic imaging has been a controversial issue in Saskatchewan in recent months. (John Rieti/CBC)


About Vote Compass

Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in Canada exclusively by CBC News. The findings are based on 6,466 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from March 7 to March 14, 2016. Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected.

Similar to opinion polls, however, the data are a non-random sample from the population and have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by geography, gender, age, educational attainment, occupation, and religion to ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population of Saskatchewan according to census data and other population estimates.