National poll on access to psychological care
Canadians, in particular those in lower and middle income levels, are experiencing significant barriers to accessing psychological services due to the costs, according to the findings of a new EKOS poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Psychological Association.
Key findings from the survey were:
- 80 per cent of all respondents indicated that if they had to pay for psychological services themselves, costs would represent a “very significant” or “significant” barrier;
- 77 per cent indicated that lack of coverage by provincial or territorial health plans presents an equally significant barrier;
- 67 per cent of respondents indicated that lack of coverage in employee health plans would represent a “significant” or “very significant” barrier.
When cross-tabulated by income bracket, the same data reveal that costs are much more likely to represent a significant or very significant barrier for those in lower income brackets:
- 86 per cent of respondents whose family income is lower than $40,000 felt that having to pay for psychological services would present a significant or very significant barrier;
- 80 per cent of those in the lower income bracket felt that psychological services not being covered by their provincial health plans would be a significant or very significant barrier.
Support for the coverage of psychological services by public health plans was very high across Canada. Eighty-five per cent of Canadians stated that ensuring psychological services are covered by public health plans is either “very important” or “important”.
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