Canadian Health Policy in the News: Why Evidence Matters
454 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2013 Last revised: 19 Aug 2015
Date Written: December 1, 2012
Canadian Health Policy in the News is a compendium of the commentaries (or OpEds) published by the Evidence Network of Canadian Health Policy (or EvidenceNetwork.ca) in major newspapers across the country since the birth of EvidenceNetwork.ca in April 2011 up to October 2012. It is a timely, balanced and non-partisan snapshot of what’s new and controversial concerning our healthcare system and related social programs that affect health and well-being in our country – with evidence at the forefront.
For the first time, we’ve collected this Creative Commons content together in an e-book format to make the information ever more widely available and accessible. The essays you’ll find here, in both English and French, are organized by date published and according to eight loosely overlapping categories: Aging Population and Its Potential Impact addresses concerns over healthcare strains associated with our graying population. Is there a silver tsunami about to bankrupt our healthcare system? Would reforms in chronic healthcare delivery better accommodate this population? Will changes to pension benefits mean more of our seniors will live in poverty? Authors tackle these issues with evidence, and the answers may surprise many readers.
Healthcare Costs and Spending addresses the increased costs for both out-of-pocket and public spending on health services in Canada. How are the numbers calculated (and spun by vested interests)? What’s going on to cause these increases? And what can we do about it? Authors follow the money and give us the goods in accessible language. Private, For-Profit Solutions to Funding and Delivery deals with the public vs. private debate: loaded words in the Canadian context. There can (and already exists) public and private roles in both the funding and delivery of healthcare. What is the best balance for Canadians? Who pays and who should pay for healthcare? Who should deliver healthcare? Authors explore models and evidence from both inside the country and internationally to help forge the path forward.
In More Care Is Not Always Better, authors tackle the question: ‘What is the right amount of healthcare?’ It’s easy to assume that the real problem with the healthcare system is ‘not enough,’ but what does the evidence say? A growing number of studies show that more healthcare is not always better and the more expensive solutions are not always the best. In Health is More Than Healthcare, the authors sketch the relationship between various ‘social determinants’ of health, such as education, poverty and homelessness, and indicate that some of the most fruitful policy levers for improving public health lie outside of the domain of health services.
In Patient Financing of Healthcare, the essays address direct patient financing of healthcare delivery. Would this result in a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare system? Would user fees, for example, prevent overuse and bring in needed revenue? Or would they negatively impact those who may need the health system the most? Sustainability includes OpEds which address whether Canadians can afford the level of healthcare we expect at a cost which is acceptable to the public; and whether we are at risk of losing our publicly funded health system from a financial perspective. Finally, in Waiting for Care, the authors assess wait times and access to care. How bad are wait times, really? And what will it cost to improve the situation?
This book is available free-of-charge so that you can share it widely, in your classrooms, amongst your friends and colleagues, on your websites and via social media.
Canadian health policy will always be emerging and unfolding, responding to changing environmental and economic factors, new technologies, publicly held values and differing political landscapes. Canadian Health Policy in the News captures a moment in time and presents the issues that concern Canadians most, grounding our national discourse and debate on healthcare in the best evidence.
Keywords: health, health care, Canadian, Canada, health policy, knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, media, news, headlines, public policy
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