Residents of the province are split on their satisfaction with the government's handling of health care, according to recent polling commissioned by the Williams administration.
Satisfaction levels in other areas, however, remain high.
The Telegram obtained the polling data under the province's access to information laws. (Click here to view pdf file).
Half - 51 per cent - of respondents said they were satisfied with the job the government was doing in terms of providing health-care services.
Health care has been a political hot potato.
Contentious issues have ranged from the fallout from the Cameron Inquiry into botched breast cancer testing to more recent controversies such as cuts to X-ray and laboratory services in two rural locations.
The government has churned through three health ministers in the past three months, with Ross Wiseman being replaced by Paul Oram.
Oram quit politics last week after a brief stint in the portfolio. Jerome Kennedy took over the job, vowing the pressure won't get to him.
Health is perhaps the key issue in the pending byelection on the Northern Peninsula, with demonstrators protesting partially reversed cuts to medical services in Flower's Cove and surgeons in St. Anthony issuing dire warnings about the situation there.
Since taking on the health portfolio last week, Kennedy has hinted the controversial cuts could be reversed.
The polling was conducted in August, before the original decision to make the cuts was announced.
Health care satisfaction levels were lowest among the 35 to 54 age group and highest among those between 18 and 34, according to the pollsters.
Meanwhile, residents expressed greater satisfaction in a wide range of other areas.
The Williams administration scored highest in the education and resource fields.
Some 81 per cent of respondents thought the government was doing a good job providing quality public education.
The satisfaction level for managing mineral resources came in at 80 per cent. The highest mark was for managing oil and gas resources, at 83 per cent satisfaction.
The lowest marks, other than health, were the government's record on job creation, at 60 per cent satisfaction, and controlling government spending, at 63 per cent.
Respondents identified economic issues as two of the top three most important issues facing the province.
Unemployment was the choice of 29 per cent; the economy was the response of 11 per cent.
Health care was sandwiched between those two, in second place, at 16 per cent.
And respondents ranked health-care spending as No. 1 on the list of most important priorities for the government over the next few years.
Some 22 per cent of those polled picked health-care spending. Job creation was a close second, at 19 per cent, with the economy third at five per cent.
Corporate Research Associates of Halifax polled 401 residents of Newfoundland and Labrador between Aug. 11 and Aug. 29.
The results are considered accurate to within 4.9 percentage points, 95 per cent of the time.