A joint study by Dialogue and Environics Research reveals attitudes towards healthcare, employee benefits and virtual care
MONTREAL, Québec, January 11, 2022 – New research revealed that Canadians are planning to leverage their employee benefits to take back control of their physical and mental health in 2022. According to the second annual Canadian Attitudes on Health and Virtual Care Report, 82% of Canadians are committing to taking better care of themselves, and 39% plan on using their employee benefits to help them translate their new-found health and wellness consciousness into action.
The joint research initiative was conducted by Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. (TSX: CARE) ("Dialogue"), Canada's leading health and wellness virtual healthcare platform, and Environics Research, a market research firm providing evidence-based solutions to real business problems, to measure Canadians’ attitudes towards virtual care and the country’s public healthcare systems.
56% of Canadians are more conscious, now than before, of their health as a result of the pandemic. 25% of Canadians indicated that the pandemic has worsened their overall health, while almost half (45%) said that mental health concerns like stress and anxiety have worsened as a result of the pandemic.
As Canadians look to make stronger commitments to their health and wellness, 50% said that the pandemic has made it more difficult to access quality healthcare. As COVID-19 creates additional strain on public healthcare systems, 25% of Canadians claimed that it typically takes four to seven days to see a healthcare professional for a minor health concern, while 23% said it can take more than a week. For Canadians concerned about their mental health, 52% believed that they should be able to get same-day support for the care they need. The reality is that 39% accessing mental health support had to wait eight days or more before getting the necessary support.
“We need to take advantage of this collective commitment to health and wellness by providing Canadians with easier, more convenient access to quality care,” said Dr. Marc Robin, Medical Director, Dialogue. “Leveraging online virtual care platforms like Dialogue offer immediate multidisciplinary support and empower Canadians to be more proactive with their physical and mental health.”
Employee benefits were identified as a key driver for Canadians working to get back on track with their physical and mental health goals. However, many are still unclear about what benefits they have, how to access them or whether they adequately meet their healthcare needs. According to the study, 26% do not know how to access their employee benefits. 24% of Canadians with benefit plans indicated that the mental health support available in their benefit plan is not sufficient, while 17% indicated that they aren’t even aware of what mental health resources are available in their employee benefits plan.
Virtual care platforms like Dialogue are making it easier for employers to ensure that employees have more streamlined access to quality healthcare benefits and more. 82% of working Canadians agreed that employers should provide virtual care services for their employees, and about 70% said that virtual care can allow them to be more proactive about their own health and mental health, as well as their family’s.
“The research shows that Canadians believe virtual care isn’t a pandemic-related trend or need, rather they see the long-term benefits virtual care can offer them and their families in maintaining health and productivity; as well as the benefits it offers employers — reducing absenteeism and maintaining a productive workforce.” said Ahsan Sadiq, Director of Market Insights, Environics.
Canadians remain optimistic about how virtual care can help improve their health and wellness, as approximately 70% agree that “virtual care represents the future of healthcare,” and 60% confirmed they would likely use virtual care if it’s available through their benefit plan. For employers, this can have a positive impact on absenteeism and productivity in the workplace, as 81% of Canadians agreed that virtual care can help them avoid missing work (or school).
About the Canadian Attitudes on Health and Virtual Care Report
This annual Canada-wide survey was conducted to measure Canadians’ attitudes towards virtual care and the country’s public health care systems. The research was sponsored by Dialogue; however, the sponsor of the research was not shared with respondents, ensuring unbiased data collection.
The 2021 survey was completed by 1,760 Canadians representing all age groups and all provinces (except Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon Territories) between September 8 and 22, 2021.
This is the second consecutive research survey; conducted with the intention of measuring changes in Canadians’ attitudes over the past year, while also understanding the evolving health landscape in Canada.
About Dialogue Technologies Inc.
Incorporated in 2016, Dialogue is Canada's premier virtual healthcare and wellness platform, providing affordable, on-demand access to quality care. Through our team of health professionals, we serve employers and organizations who have an interest in the health and well-being of their employees, members and their families. Our Integrated Health Platform™ is a one-stop healthcare hub that centralizes all of our programs in a single, user-friendly application, providing access to services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from the convenience of a smartphone, computer or tablet.
About Environics Research
Environics Research is a Canadian market research firm that provides organizations with actionable, evidence-based solutions to real business problems. Environics Research partners with clients to understand the business challenges they face and leverage innovative and creative solutions to generate understanding and insights. Founded in 1970, Environics Research delivers evidence-based solutions to clients working in a range of sectors and industries.