Tag Archives: Vector Poll

Social Determinants: Poll indicates widespread support for indexing minimum wage

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce likely surprised everyone when they suggested in September the best way to adjust the minimum wage is to automatically link it to the cost of living.

Many anti-poverty groups have been advocating for such a policy as well as demanding Ontario play catch-up for the three years in which the minimum wage has been frozen at $10.25 an hour. Ontario is one of three jurisdictions in Canada that has no mechanism for increasing the minimum wage.

While the Chamber is no fan of having to pay workers more, they argue that by linking the minimum wage to the cost of living it would be predictable, transparent and fair.

A recent poll suggests most Canadians agree. The September Vector Poll* indicated 53 per cent of Canadians “strongly” supported increasing the minimum wage every year by the cost of living. Another 36 per cent were “somewhat” supportive.

That’s about as close to consensus as you are going to get in Canada.

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Diluted chemo drug scandal — why was this ever contracted out?

It looked for a while that Marchese Hospital Solutions’ explanation for the diluted chemotherapy drug bags may have had legs, suggesting there was miscommunication between hospital purchasing agent Medbuy and Marchese over the use of the product.

Marchese claimed it was their understanding that the bags of chemotherapy drugs they were preparing were to be administered as a single dose entirely to one patient, when in fact the contents of the bags were being used for multiple doses.

Appearing before a Ontario legislature committee probing how 1200 cancer patients received diluted doses of chemotherapy, Anne Miao, director of pharmacy for rival corporation Baxter, told the committee that Marchese’s explanation was far-fetched.

According to today’s Toronto Star, Miao told the committee that dosage is based on the patient’s surface area, and “a four gram dose to be used as a single-patient dose, using a standard five foot 10 inch tall patient, you’re looking at a patient of over 900 pounds.”

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Vector Poll: Most Ontarians think McGuinty government is doing a poor job on major health priorities

Deb Matthews may want to get out more.

We’ve previously noted that Ontario’s Health Minister has made far fewer public speeches than her predecessors. The Ministry’s on-line speech archive lists two speeches for Matthews this year, one for last year. There have been a total of five press releases issued during the summer months (June to August), most dealing with basic alerts, such as reminding Ontarians to protect themselves from West Nile virus.

For a government intent on radically remaking the health system, there appears to be very little coming out of the Minister’s office. The effects are telling in a recent poll around the province’s long waited health action plan.

When the Local Health Integration Networks were formed, the province was charged with developing an overall health strategy. This was supposed to be the basis for the LHINs own integrated health service plans.

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Vector Poll: Ontarians less comfortable with placing a family member in a nursing home

Ontarians are less comfortable with the prospect of a family member in a nursing home than residents of other provinces according to an August Vector Poll.

Only 20 per cent said they would feel “very comfortable” with the idea compared to 28 per cent in Quebec and 30 per cent in the Maritimes.

Ontario has the highest percentage of for-profit nursing home beds in Canada.

Across Canada about one in three said they were either “not too comfortable” or “not at all comfortable with the idea.”

Not surprisingly, wealthy households were less likely to be concerned than families with yearly incomes below $40,000, reminding us that we already have two-tier health care when it comes to the quality of nursing home care.

Earlier this year we raised the alarm about too few nursing home inspectors for Ontario’s 630 public nursing homes. Most nursing homes in Ontario have not received a detailed inspector since 2009.

About three out of four Ontarians told Vector that inspections should be made stricter. Across Canada, even 71 per cent of Conservative voters told the pollsters they saw a need for more stepped up inspection despite their party’s preference for fewer government services.

Given concerns about the quality of nursing home care, Ontarians were evenly split on whether the government should invest more money in long-term care beds or increase tax breaks to renovate homes to care for a relative.

The Vector poll was taken August 8-20 nationally with 1,102 adults participating. The Ontario segment is a sample of 500 – sample error would be 4.4 percentage points up or down. The Vector Poll is commissioned by a coalition of labour organizations including OPSEU.