Thinking Globally, Acting Locally About Health Reform


A primary purpose of health care reform must be to reduce the unconscionable disparities in health experienced by different groups of Canadians. It's an agenda that has more to do with social and economic policy, than health. But a significant component lies in a reconfiguration of Regional Health Authorities, so they serve as facilitators of community engagement and experimentation in health care.

"... it is vital to keep our eye on fundamental principles. Health reform cannot just be about restraining costs or rationalizing services or relocalization of decision-making. A driving goal of reform must be to ensure that everyone has access to the services they need and that changes in the health system and in other areas of public policy result in better health for all and significantly reduce existing disparities. In short, health reform must be driven at least in part by an agenda of comprehensive health equity....

"This article makes two connected arguments. First of all, such progressive systemic change will only occur if we build it on solid local innovation and initiatives. Good local planning and well-grounded Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) are essential to progressive reform. Second, to be effective and responsive, local and regional planning must in turn be built on a solid foundation of extensive community involvement in defining health needs and priorities."

Communities, RHAs, & a Health Equity Policy Agenda
Gardner, Bob
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