Exploring Policy Pathways for Improved and More Equitable Health and Health Care Research Interest Group
Sustainability, quality, accessibility – is it possible to obtain a balance of all three in any health care system? CUHI is pleased to introduce the “Exploring Policy Pathways for Improved and More Equitable Health and Health Care” Research Interest Group (RIG) under the leadership of Mark Stabile, Director of the School of Public Policy and Governance. This Research Interest Group brings together researchers from disciplines of economics, law, political science, medicine, sociology and health to develop multidisciplinary approaches to tackling important health policy questions. This RIG seeks to address how to improve equity in access to services not covered under the Canada Health Act, how to improve the financial stability of the public health care system, and will explore the relationship between socioeconomic status, income security and population health.
There are gaps in the current coverage of care available to Canadians, particularly in the areas of pharmaceutical coverage, long-term care coverage, and mental health care coverage. These gaps do not fall under physician services or hospital services in the clean manner that would automatically qualify them under provincial health insurance schemes. As a result, coverage of prescription drugs and long-term care has not evolved in a uniform manner across the provinces and territories, and, more importantly, it is far from adequate in any jurisdiction. The RIG seeks to understand how we can reduce the gaps in access and achieve a high standard of care for all.
A second major challenge arises out of the provision of these social programs: Canada’s current mechanisms for financing these services are no longer adequate. The aging population in Canada and around the world has led to unsustainable growth in the costs of health care as well as projections for increasing costs. To date, few countries have been able to keep the growth in health care costs below that of revenues, which may lead to long term consequences of raising additional revenue, running greater deficits, moving spending to the private sector, or crowding out other publicly provided services. The RIG will explore the implications of government choices on health care delivery, economic growth, equality of access, and sustainability.
Understanding the relationship between socioeconomic status and health—both mental and physical—is critical to our understanding of how children develop, how adults become full members of society, and what drives key measures of well-being. The RIG will explore this relationship and the implications of the findings for optimal funding of our health care system.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Exploring Policy Pathways for Improved and More Equitable Health and Health Care RIG, please contact Dr. Mark Stabile, RIG Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be happy to provide you with more information.
- Alison Loat (Samara Project)
- Candice Camilleri (Ng Consulting)
- Caroline Pitfield (Health Canada)
- Catherine Ma (School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto)
- Colleen Flood (Faculty of Law, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto)
- Geoff Anderson (Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto)
- Ito Peng (Department of Sociology, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto)
- Jacqueline Greenblatt (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)
- Jerry Hurley (Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University)
- Mark Stabile (School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto)
- Sara Allin (Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto)
- Vasanthi Srinivasan (Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Ontario)
- Health Canada
- Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
- Ng Consulting
- Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
- Samara Project
The Exploring Policy Pathways for Improved and More Equitable Health and Health Care RIG will support Masters in Public Policy Students from the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. These students will be active researchers in the team, as well as participants in the health policy courses offered by members of the faculty at the School of Public Policy and Governance. Training and mentoring opportunities will be available for other graduate students and undergraduate students interested in health policy to get involved with both research and team activities with the broader community.
Mark Stabile (School of Public Policy & Governance, University of Toronto)
Sara Allin (Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto)
Lead Community and/or Policy Partner:
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
The purpose of this research project is to examine inequity in the use of health care services among children over time. We will investigate the extent to which patterns of health care use change over time, and as children age, with the aim to assess the impact of such changes on the extent of socioeconomic inequalities in health. Drawing on the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Adolescents in Canada from the period 1994 to 2007, we will examine the causal pathways that explain the widening inequalities in health among children, and will be able to separate the role of health care from other personal, family and social factors that contribute to inequalities. This work is the first research project coming out of the Exploring Policy Pathways for Improved and More Equitable Health and Health Care Research Group, and will involve our research and policy partners throughout the course of this project and its dissemination. The findings from this research will address an important gap in our understanding of the causes of health inequalities and inequitable utilization of health services among children, and therefore may contribute to the development of national and provincial policies to improve access to health care and to reduce, or mitigate, inequalities.