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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