Americas

Americans, Canadians, Britons Similarly Rate Their Healthcare Systems

Many give positive ratings to quality of care they receive

The healthcare systems in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain each have their differences -- among the most apparent, the presence or absence of private insurance. But, there is similarity in the way each nation's citizens rate the overall healthcare system in their respective countries and the quality of care they personally get. More than half of respondents in the United States, Canada, and Britain rate their nation's healthcare system positively, and about three in four give glowing reviews to the quality of healthcare they receive.

Quality of Healthcare

The results of three recent Gallup Polls* show that more than half of residents in the United States (53%), Canada (52%), and Britain (55%) describe their respective healthcare systems as "excellent" or "good."

However, Americans are somewhat more likely than Canadians or Britons to describe their healthcare system as excellent. One in six Americans (16%) describes the quality of healthcare in the country as excellent, compared with 8% of Canadians and 11% of Britons.

Over the three years Gallup has asked this question in all three countries, the ratings in Canada have remained essentially unchanged, while the ratings have become slightly more positive in Britain and somewhat more negative in the United States.

  • The results in the United States show that roughly 6 in 10 Americans rated the quality of healthcare in the country as excellent or good in 2003 and 2004. This sentiment decreased to 53% this year. (Although the latest ratings are lower than what Gallup measured in the past two years, the ratings are roughly the same as in 2001 and 2002.)
  • Over the past three years, the percentage of Canadians rating their nation's healthcare system positively has ranged between 52% and 54%.
  • Slightly less than half of Britons rated the quality of their nation's healthcare as excellent or good in 2003, but in the past two years, a majority of Britons have given positive evaluations (53% in 2004 and 55% in 2005).

Personal Healthcare Ratings

Residents in all three countries assess the quality of healthcare they personally receive extremely positively. Roughly three in four respondents in the United States, Canada, and Britain describe their own personal healthcare as excellent or good, with about half in each country rating it as "good."

Americans are somewhat more likely than Canadians or Britons to rate the quality of healthcare they receive as excellent. Twenty-nine percent of Americans describe their own healthcare as excellent, while 22% of Canadians and 25% of Britons rate it this way.

Aside from a lower rating in Britain in 2004, the personal healthcare ratings in the three countries have not varied much since 2003.

*Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,011 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Nov. 7-10, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Results in Canada are based on telephone interviews with 1,003 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Dec. 12-18, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup Canada.

Results in Great Britain are based on telephone interviews with 1,010 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Dec. 12-20, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup UK.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/20821/Americans-Canadians-Britons-Similarly-Rate-Their-Healthcare-Systems.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030