Health Policy Reform in Canada: Bridging Policy and Politics

Engaging the public in the healthcare reform conversation can bolster the political will to act
Health Policy Reform in Canada: Bridging Policy and Politics

This discussion paper by Don Drummond, Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy and adjunct professor at the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, looks at the impediments to the political will to act boldly on health policy reform and what it would take to dissolve those impediments. 

Drummond says debates over the Canada Health Act and privatization are distractions; he argues that the chief stumbling block to successful policy reform is an unclear definition of the problem that sticks in the public’s mind. Other conditions that are necessary to move political actors to action include: a critical mass of analysis/research suggesting a course for policy reform; a clear sense of the objectives of reform; models upon which to base policy reform; alignment of at least some key stakeholders with the intended direction of reform; and options to phase in reforms.

The paper was prepared for the Creating Strategic Change In Canadian Healthcare conference staged in May 2014 by The Monieson Centre for Business Research in Healthcare.

The paper will be incorporated into a forthcoming book on healthcare reform in Canada, to be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

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