Physicians are split over the need for a universal healthcare program in the U.S., a survey finds.

The study of more than 850 physicians by DoctorDirectory.com Inc., Asheville, N.C., was designed to assess doctors’ attitudes toward universal healthcare as an issue in the upcoming presidential election.

Asked if they believe that universal healthcare insurance would significantly improve access to healthcare for all Americans, 38.8% said there would be no improvement, 33.8% said that it would significantly improve access to healthcare, and 44.2% felt that there is no evidence that expanding insurance coverage is a cost-effective way to promote health.

Physicians also split on a healthcare insurance mandate, with 42.7% in favor of mandated coverage and 40.2% against such mandates.

When asked how a universal healthcare system should be funded, less than 10% felt it should be funded by the federal government. Nearly 60% preferring some combination of state, federal, employer and individual contributions.

DoctorDirectory.com is a marketing services company serving healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical industry clients.