Making Evidence Matter in Canadian Health Policy
291 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2014
Navigating the Evidence: Communicating Canadian Health Policy in the Media is a compilation of the EvidenceNetwork commentaries published in major newspapers in 2014, written by experts in the health policy field. These Op-Eds highlight the most recent evidence on a wide range of topics, including our aging population, healthcare sustainability, costs and spending, and the impact of the social determinants of health. It also contains essays addressing key concerns around mental health, obesity and pharmaceutical policy, among other topics.
This is the third volume in the annual series of eBooks produced by EvidenceNetwork, the first being Canadian Health Policy in the News (2013), followed by Making Evidence Matter in Canadian Health Policy (2014).
In this volume, please find our second compendium of Op-Eds (materials published from October 2012 to October 2013). Like our first eBook, this second volume is a snapshot of a year in the health policy debates of our country. We’ve not altered the materials to reflect changes that may have taken place since the commentaries were written, but left them as they were published, to represent accurately the time in which they were written. Most Op-Eds were originally published in English, with some translated into French, where we had resources. A few were originally published in French, with English translations.
The book is organized into key themes that EvidenceNetwork experts have agreed to tackle —areas where we feel the evidence is not yet being fairly represented in media, policy and/or political circles, and where we feel we can make a contribution. Sustainability documents the challenges of affording the healthcare system Canadians want and need, and explores the way our health system gives us a competitive advantage internationally, and fleshes out optimized funding formulas that work for all regions of the country. Costs and Spending looks at remuneration systems and how they may differently incentivize those who work in the health domain in Canada, the relationship between health care dollars and healthcare quality, and how our health system contributes to a more equal society. This section highlights why healthcare costs so much and what parts of the system are eating up our healthcare dollars.
Pharmaceutical Policy looks at patent processes and access to affordable, quality medications, at the over-prescription of certain medications, and the relationship of pharmaceutical firms to health research, education and marketing. This section highlights the research suggesting why a national pharmacare program makes sense, and the health cost of affordable pharmaceutical drugs, as well as the variations of drug programs across the country — what’s working and what’s not. Private, For-Profit examines the evidence comparing private-for-profit delivery of healthcare with public delivery, and the problems which arise in those sectors that largely aren’t covered by our public healthcare system, such as prescription glasses or dental care.
Health is More than Healthcare details the important social determinants of health, such as the relationship between poverty and good health, home and food security, income distribution, chronic stress, discrimination in the health system and healthy parenting. Aging Population looks at the impact of our aging society on our health system, and does some myth busting on the so-called “aging tsunami,” as well examining the need for pension reform in Canada, and what path that might take. Mental Health, a new topic of focus for EvidenceNetwork this year, examines the relationship of chronic stress and health status. More will be done in this area by our experts in the coming months — stay tuned to our website. Also new is the section on Obesity, which looks at why traditional methods for combating the obesity epidemic have failed, and what works for those trying to change their lifestyle to healthier habits. We examine possible policy levers to help tackle obesity and look at weight-based discrimination and what can be done about it. Finally, in our Appendix A and B, we provide more details about the EvidenceNetwork project for those who wish to know more about us in detail.
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