Pollster finds that healthcare is a national concern, but surprisingly so among residents of an affluent community

Pollster Linley Winter says that people living in more affluent neighborhoods have expressed concern about their access to healthcare.

Winter recently released the findings of seven constituency polls undertaken earlier this year.

Speaking specifically to St. John’s Rural North – where many middle- and upper-income persons reside – Winter says he was surprised that healthcare featured so prominently among their concerns at the constituency level.

The pollster adds that healthcare was a concern at the national level, as well, and a local issue for residents of the St. Mary’s South constituency.

Over the years many people have criticized the delivery of public healthcare services, at both the clinic and hospital levels.

Earlier this week, one woman told REAL News she left the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre in disgust after experiencing what she described as “a cattle call” there.

She reported that she had been given a 9 o’clock appointment to see a specialist, only to turn up and meet dozens of other people who had been scheduled for the same time.

Not only was the waiting area inadequate for the number of patients, the woman said, but there was no private space for the taking of vitals – such as blood pressure and weight. Accordingly, the woman says, she left.

“Just because it is a public hospital, it doesn’t mean that people are not entitled to privacy,” she said. “It’s bad enough that you’re sick; why do you have to lose your dignity, too?” she asked.

She noted that she has paid Medical Benefits contributions for all of her working life, but would rather “shell out the money for a private doctor” than subject herself to such an experience again.